Power of an OpEd

ALUM PERSPECTIVE:

Talk about results.  Qanta Ahmed has published nearly two dozen op-eds and columns since coming through The OpEd Project last March – in places like The Christian Science Monitor, The New York Daily News, The New York Post, The Huffington Post and USA Today. Subsequently she was cited in both The Washington Post and Forbes.com. Qanta (who will be our Alum Ambassador at our upcoming New York City seminar on February 11) recently wrote us about the power of words:

“Congressman(R) Peter King came to my hospital today to inaugurate our health program for World Trade Center first responders. I had written in support of his hearings on Radical Islam a year ago this month in the Wall Street Journal.

Today, hoping to meet him I printed out my op-ed,’ just in case.’ Putting it in the pocket of my doctor’s coat, I went to hear him and other leaders speak. When the press conference was over I went to introduce myself. I showed him the piece, which he in fact remembered without prompting – he had read it at the time. 

This led to an invitation for me to meet him in his office and discuss how I can serve his mission further.  We begin our dialogue later this month.

A single op-ed has therefore carried me to the Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee in under a year. My writing is carrying me to the epicenter of policy makers in the area in which I want to exert more influence. With [OpEd Project Mentor-Editor] Annie Murphy Paul’s mentorship that influence is just beginning to spread its wings. Just amazing.

That’s the power of the written word. Thank you for helping me amplify, refine and empower my voice. You do tremendous work, and in our short history of collaboration you have been pivotal to my development and my ability to realize my true mission.

–Qanta A. A. Ahmed MD, FACP, FCCP, FAASM

Note:  Come meet Qanta on February 11 – at our next open seminar followed by our New York City happy hour (which is open to everyone).

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