“Imagine you are the last lone match in a worn down matchbook. The strike surface is faded, and all but difficult to light – but here you are, a spark and a flame – the last lit match. Now imagine everyone you meet is a forest. Each person a tree. Some are close to one another – others in entirely different fields. You as the match get to choose who to ignite, and just how you are going to do that. You have this great impact that can last beyond your comprehension. Some trees will blow in the wind, igniting each other, carrying YOUR flame.
And let me tell you something you already know – that matchstick won’t last forever. Life ends quickly and at times without notice. But how do we choose to impact the people we love, hate, or barely know – while we are around? How do we choose to receive? Not all trees are worth igniting, some are damp and unwilling. Some are the tallest redwoods, ecstatic to burn bright and ferociously with the impact you, a little match, started.
You may feel insignificant at times, but you have tremendous impact, even when you’re caught in the rain.
And when the life of the matchstick ends, at the end of its fuel, or blown out by wind,
the forests burn on.” -Christian Watson
The Matchstick is Amnesty International’s first human rights youth newspaper and is comprised of young, passionate individuals aiming to share stories that enlighten and inspire.
Sareema Husain is a 20-year-old currently studying Media and Communications at Concordia University. She is an avid storyteller and enjoys using different multimedia tools to help convey abstract messages. She was first introduced to Amnesty in Grade 12, when she attended a Youth Conference held in Toronto. Since then, she’s volunteered for Write for Rights and is part of the film team for REEL Awareness, a human rights film festival. In her spare time, she can be found drinking tea, listening to punk rock or reading adventure novels. Her areas of interest include alternative media, feminism, and surveillance practices. She believes that using her voice is one of her greatest responsibilities and this is what propelled her to join the Matchstick team.
Sasha Aristotle is an editor for The Matchstick Newspaper. A rising second-year student at UofT, Sasha is currently studying history, English and economics. Sasha first became involved with Amnesty as an editor for the Youth Magazine in high school, and has since worked on the editorial boards of various business, legal, and creative writing publications. Sasha is passionate about stories, travel, education, international affairs, and food. She is fascinated by outer space and the workings of Donald Trump’s mind, and before she dies she wants to learn how to box, speak Hindi, and make really good chicken dumplings. Sasha hopes that The Matchstick will inspire youth to become more involved in and feel more engaged with humanitarian affairs as well as journalism. You can reach her at email@example.com.
Maha Asad is an 18 year-old student at McGill University, planning to major in International Development Studies. She leads an Amnesty youth group in her hometown, Ajax, Ontario, and is a youth organizer with Amnesty Canada. Originally, she started working in Toronto and has been with Amnesty for almost two years. Aside from her human rights work, she is an ardent musician with many projects underway. In her free time, she is usually songwriting, or practicing piano/guitar/violin/vocals. She is also a fan of watercolour painting, creative writing, and photography. She would like to work on combining these two parts of her life; using art and music for awareness of human rights issues. A rooted love for uncovering stories drew her to the Matchstick team, and she is inexplicably excited for what the project will encompass in the coming years. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Parsa Mahmud is a general editor for The Matchstick. She is a student of Grade 12 at Victoria Park C.I. Some of her interests are in the areas of education, poverty, gender equality and economics. She believes that while things may never radically progress, people who fight for their rights, confront their concerns and most importantly ones who take action are our catalysts of change and heroes of propelling the future. Due to her sincere passion in matters of social change, she participates in community projects and global campaigns.She continues to take leadership roles in Plan International ,World Vision and of course Amnesty. A firm believer in following one’s vision, she is eager to embrace challenges, invite experiences, stimulate her ambitions and always learn. She loves books, cuisine, movies, architecture and is an art and travel enthusiast. Truly, she acknowledges that one innovative idea, one profound thought and one little action is one more person hoping for a better tomorrow- maybe blindly but courageously. You can contact her at email@example.com.
Natalie Enriquez-Birch is a general editor for The Matchstick Newspaper. She is currently a grade 12 student at Weston Collegiate Institute completing her final year of the IB Diploma Program. Natalie loves new experiences and taking advantages of opportunities in a range of different disciplines. For example, this past year she participated in the Ontario Model Parliament program, on a youth cultural exchange to Rankin Inlet in Nunavut, and competed at the International level for DECA, a business competition. Natalie voicing her opinions as a member of the Art Gallery of Ontario youth council as well as the youth council for her federal riding. Always restless, she is always in search of opportunities to experience the world and travel. She enjoys reading historical fiction, long-distance runs, trying new food, doodling, latin music and dance, learning languages, and watching documentaries. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nisa Aliyeva is the print designer and a general editor for The Matchstick. She is a 17-year- old high school student who currently studies at Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts. She is the president of two school clubs (World Issues Club, Math Club), leader of the Art Council, and member of the Super Council. Nisa has received the OSSTF District 12 Status of Women leadership award (2015). Outside of school, she takes on her passion for human rights and volunteers for Amnesty International Canada and has been doing so for two years now. She is one of the Youth Organizers who dedicates her time, hard work, creativity and commitment into trying to bring justice to those who have been denied their human rights.
In her spare time she enjoys working with mixed media art. Her goal is become a human rights lawyer. With this youth newspaper she hopes that she can use and expand her skills while helping others. She wants to work with other great minds in providing a chance for youth who have similar interests to share their work. To her it is very important that people have a voice, so she wants you to share your opinions because they matter- youth matter! You can reach her at email@example.com.