HANAN MAJID STANDS on the Ripon College campus this fall.				   		        submitted photo
HANAN MAJID STANDS on the Ripon College campus this fall. submitted photo

     GROWING UP IN KASHMIR, a territory historically in conflict between India and Pakistan, Hanan was aware that plenty of violence exists in the world.

     But his father, an engineer, put it into perspective.

     “‘The ink of a scholar is more pure than the blood of a martyr,’” Hanan recalls being told. “What this means is, we can change the world with a pen, more than a gun.”

     Hanan sees this as universally true. Whether growing up on the edge of India or the edge of Wisconsin farmland, these are stories with which anyone can relate.

     Misunderstanding one another is universal.

     And Hanan hopes his ink, or pixels as the case may be, will help bridge that gap.

     Patterned after the wildly popular “Humans of New York,” Hanan has created (with Ripon College’s help) “Portraits of Ripon” on Facebook.
It features students and staff of the college as they tell deeply personal stories of heartache, tragedy and more.

     But, as Hanan points out, the difficulties these people describe could be anyone’s.

     “This is conflict that we all have in our lives,” he said. “We just don’t share with other [people all the time].” ...

     To read the entire column, see the Dec. 13, 2018 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.