At noon on Thursday July 31st, Haley Bibbee and Skye Thompson, two SRW interns, went out to Farragut Square of Washington, DC to carry out their “Did You Know” campaign. Through the campaign, they wanted to inform the public of what was going on in other parts of the world to the Shia minority and the universal human rights that were not being granted to them.
The campaign consisted mainly of two parts: a poster board including religion demographic breakdown for six countries (Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Lebanon) and a handful of over one hundred playing cards with Shia facts written on them. Out on the square, they informed numerous people of things that aren’t broadcasted on the news, such as the multiple prayer centers that have been shut down and the complete banning of the religion’s teachings in certain countries. Many who stopped by got really invested in the topic and inquired about subject they felt mattered but hadn’t known about. The interns talked about what Shia is and how their community is being treated, making comparisons to the listener’s own affiliations, anywhere between their own religion to their political stances and down to their race, so that they could sympathize with what these people were going through in other parts of the world. Out of all of the people that they talked to, the only people that had truly known of the facts written on the cards were those that were originally from those countries and the Middle East region.
When they returned from their time out on the square, they came back with the realization that Americans never trouble themselves with what is going on outside of the United Nations unless it has something to do with a fellow American. They said that this is the reason why we must go out and talk to people about these things, because if we don’t, they will never know.