Article by Sydney Gaeth | Owl Alumni Staff
For Faras Aamir, class of 2015, public service is a family affair. When his older sister Neha, Owl Magazine’s cover model for this issue, was recognized as an Ambassador of Peace by the Universal Peace Federation, she shared her brother’s record of service with the organization, resulting in him being named an Ambassador of Peace as well.
Born in Lahore, Punjab, a province of Pakistan, and now living in Bel Air with his family, Aamir was inspired to get involved with the refugee crisis. He discovered the International Rescue Committee, a refugee center, right in Baltimore. Since then, Aamir and his family have worked closely with a family from Congo seeking asylum in this country.
“These people are being forced to leave their homes and adapt a whole new life to a foreign land they have no idea how to integrate into,” Aamir says. “I took some mentoring classes, took whatever family I was given and made a promise to take time out at least once a week to help them however I could.”
In the beginning, that meant guiding them with basic things such as buying groceries, banking, and navigating public transportation. Eventually, the family learned how to drive and apply for employment. They accomplished all of this while simultaneously learning English.
“I know that as a single person, I was able to see dramatic change over two years of helping the entire functionality of this family within the society,” says Aamir. “Charity is great and helps accomplish logistical goals, but nothing will ever be as impactful as the time you volunteer to people.”
Aamir also stands by the idea that those with privileges are responsible for helping those who are in need. He grew up learning the importance of helping others from his Dada Abu, or his grandfather, who was selfless in nature and did not seek recognition for anything he did for others.
“The more you’re involved in, the more open your eyes are to everything going on around you and I am a full-time student to life,” he says. “Knowledge shouldn’t be seen as a competition, it should be seen as an exchange.”
In addition to being an ally for refugees, Aamir also focuses his time and attention on music and art production through his YouTube channel. He doesn’t identify as a “YouTuber,” but rather as someone who uses the platform to spread a message.
“My art and entertainment are my passions but the end goal would have been the same if I had chosen any other career – giving back,” says Aamir. “My service may be more public, but the real heroes are the ones who are not even seen and still continue to create such an impact.”
Aamir and his entire family believe that the best way to live life is by supporting those around you, and emphasize the fact that anyone can be an ambassador for peace.
He says, “Anything is possible in America when you accept the fact that you’re the one making it great.”