"Politics are the things that affect people’s lives in ways that they don’t see, necessarily. …Politics are the underlying things that create the policies."
For her, politics has always been the elements that affect people’s lives in an “underlying thread.” One of her professors once mentioned that everything is political. She said she agrees. Everything is based in policy decisions; culture in society stems from politics.
Politics is everything, and everywhere.
So her lens changed in 2008. She was a high school student across the world in Egypt for the summer. Hosni Mubarak was still in power. That part of the world had not yet seen the tumult that would come in following years.
She’d just left the United States in a frenzy of presidential election year politics, of a will by some to hope and change the past eight years. Freedom was ringing strong and ideal; people had the sentiment of power to change, the power to affect the future.
In Egypt, she noticed that people didn’t feel the same way. They had a more nonchalant view of politics, thinking, well, I have a good life; what’s the need for me to change it?
“It was very different in how people saw politics as fitting in their lives,” she said.
It was at odds with her definition of politics as an active process - a gung-ho, policy-making way to make life better. A view on citizen's duties and the decision-making processes were completely different across the continents, she realized.
“That’s not how government is carried out in other parts of the world,” she said.