Kelsey Modica (AS ’15)  completed her Capstone in international relations supported by her advisor, Prof. Seth Jolly. The project entitled, A Path to Peace: Reconciling the Sunni-Shi’a Conflict in Iraq, delves deep into history, to the seventh century after the death of Muhammad.

In order to better understand why there is a conflict between Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq, Kelsey argues that it is essential to understand the similarities and differences between their ideologies and also how they have been set against each other throughout history.  It is necessary to determine how the conflict between Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq began and why it continues today in order to make recommendations to improve the current Iraqi government through a revised consociational democracy model.

unni SShia Map of Iraq territories

Here are Kelsey’s wise words of advice:

[The Capstone] requires more time than anything else you have ever worked on and will certainly become frustrating at times, but if it is something you truly care about, you will not give up.  Another piece of advice would be to read and do as much research as you can in order to develop your viewpoint.  Although you may think you believe one argument, it is important to look at opposition because not only will they give you a well-rounded outlook on your topic, they may even change your opinion.  Lastly, never be afraid to ask for help.  Everyone around you wants you to succeed; you simply need to reach out to them. Good luck!