South African Activist Justice Albie Sachs visited NYU Abu Dhabi recently, and Salaam caught up with a student who was in the audience for their perspective on the talk.
"Justice Albie Sachs of South Africa lost his sight in one eye to a bomb, but he never lost sight of democracy. We were privileged to hear from Justice Sachs at NYU Abu Dhabi recently and learn that despite his personal sufferings, his conviction towards freedom and democracy supersedes the individual level. The truth and reconciliation commission Justice Sachs helped to establish played a pivotal role in the transition from apartheid to democracy, and freed countless individuals from their psychological entrenchments, some from suppression, and some from sense of guilt. It was especially moving when a South African gentleman working with the University shared his personal experiences of serving in the nation's police force during the transition period. Observing how historical movements affect individuals, I gained deeper understanding of the human conditions through this very enlightening experience."