Q&A with Alaa Hammouda, MPH Candidate in Global Health
We at Research, Innovation and Global Solutions interviewed Alaa Hammouda about her interests in humanitarian health.
What wasyour background before enrolling at Gillings?
I have almost six years of work experience with non-governmental organizations in the Gaza Strip. I also have experience in print and broadcast media agencies and in various roles in the fields of advocacy, administration, public relations, social work, translation, and teaching. I worked at America-Mideast Educational and Training Services for two years, in addition to several media agencies like XINHUA, Middle East Eye, and Russia Today as a freelance and journalist. I also worked for four years as an Advocacy Media Officer at the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, a pioneer organization providing psychological support for victims of human rights violations. There, I advocated for women’s rights, support for mental health, the fight to
stop violence against women and children, gender equality, and human rights.
Why did you choose to attend Gillings?
The Gillings School of Public Health has been ranked one of the top universities in the United States. I really valued how faculty and students are like a family in this school and they come together to act on and help solve urgent public health problems.
Will you tell us more about your work with the Gillings Humanitarian Health Initiative?
I am currently trying to develop a new service project between the Gillings School of Public Health and organizations working with women in the Gaza Strip.
How did you become interested in humanitarian health?
My interests in humanitarian health are a result of my own personal experience as a Palestinian young woman and a lifelong resident of the Gaza Strip. I have lived through three wars and been under siege for more than ten years. Despite these challenges, I have been able to advance my aspirations and continue to have hope for a peaceful future. This also made me so passionate about humanitarian work and the importance of uplifting communities that are experiencing conflicts.
When you are not working and studying, how do you like to spend your time?
I am a mother of 3 kids, so I got my hands full. I enjoy playing with my children and spending time with them at the park. I also enjoy hiking and going for walks.