MIR Alumna Interviewed for Elan Magazine

Written on January 23, 2012 by Ángeles Figueroa-Alcorta in Master in International Relations (MIR)

Sonja Be: Giving Voice to the Voiceless

By: Moniza Khokhar

Sonja Be, 24, is ready to take on the world.  Born in Northern Sweden, raised in Vancouver, and half Iranian, Be has trouble deciding what she identifies with the most.  She’s a journalist that gives voice to the “voiceless.”  We got a chance to catch up with her.

Elan: Can you tell us a little bit about your professional background?

Sonja Be: It’s been quite eclectic. From being a bootcamp boxing coach to having my own radio show to organizing non-profit events, people’s life stories have always been the stem of my career towards journalism. Being able to work with others, learn from them, and thrive off their energy has been a huge part of my professional career. Living and studying in Madrid for the last year of my life taught me how little I know about our enormous world. Attaining my Master’s degree in International Relations sparked the fire of not only wanting to know more but doing something with what I have learned. My website is the first step in my life vision.

Elan: Your work revolves mainly around human rights on the international scale, what is something you take from this experience?

SB: In the 21st century, our world is more connected than ever. Media no longer belongs to the big guys, media belongs to everyone. The post modern phenomenon is not one we observe and gather information from but one that we are involved in and one that supports multi communicating dimensions of social media like Twitter.

The more we communicate our knowledge, the more power we have of making steps towards change. It is our responsibility to use these tools of technology to raise awareness about global human rights. With the world a click away, we no longer have an excuse to turn our heads away from injustice. We are the most educated generation to date and we have weapons and tools that can collectively create a movement towards freedom and peace for every single person on this world. Every tweet, every update, every signature, every petition and every word matters in this picture of change.

Elan: Why did you turn to journalism?  What was it about journalism that struck a chord with you?

SB: I originally went to school for Radio Broadcasting and as I entered the radio industry; I realized the entertainment sector was not a fit for me. I quit radio and decided to continue with school and I clearly remember my boss telling me “you don’t need more education to succeed in Radio.” I didn’t listen because I was hungry for more knowledge and was insistent that school would fulfill that for me. While I was attaining my BA in Communications something happened that changed the direction of my life.

The fraudulent 2009 Iranian elections caused a global uproar and spotlight on Iran. I began attending the pro-democracy Green Movement protests in Vancouver . Being at these local protests and watching the brutality via Youtube gave me an enormous feeling of guilt.  Why? Because I don’t see a big difference between myself and the youth of Iran, we all want the same freedoms and opportunities. The difference between her and I is that I was born and raised into a country that practices democracy and equality and she/he was born under an oppressive regime with limited freedoms. The silent whisper that had quietly followed me my whole life now became an amplified scream. This event interrupted my lifestyle, my daily thought process and perspective on life. I finished my BA and moved to Madrid, Spain to pursue my MA in International Relations. Read more…


Follow Sonja on Twitter 

Like Sonja’s Facebook page to stay updated

As published in elanthemag.com.


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