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Speaker Series: Lighting the Future with Marwa Lahlou and Basma Alawee
Speaker Series: Lighting the Future with Marwa Lahlou and Basma Alawee

Sat, Dec 03


New Haven

Speaker Series: Lighting the Future with Marwa Lahlou and Basma Alawee

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Time & Location

Dec 03, 2022, 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

New Haven, 67 High Street Yale Old Campus, New Haven, CT 06511, USA

About the event

"Lighting the Future" features different speakers from different backgrounds who all speak on a common theme: the refugee experience. Inspired by our executive director's stories about her own journey as a refugee, the series aims to shed light on refugee experiences and narratives across an array of mediums, from art to academia and more.

The stories of refugee women are those of bravery, resiliency, and courage. Having navigated hardships while adjusting to life in a new country, they offer an essential perspective on what it means to embrace identity and perservere above difficulties. Refugee women are vital leaders, lawmakers, entrepreneurs and thinkers in our society. Though their voices oftentimes go unheard, the Speaker Series aims to highlight those such empowering figures in our communities.

Join us as we speak with Miss Arab USA 2022, Marwa Lahlou and Basma Alawee, Executive Director of WeaveTales.

Originally born in Morocco, Lahlou moved to the United States at the age of ten. As the only Arab in her high school, she faced severe discrimination for her background. However, in connecting directly with her community, she discovered the beauty in her culture and its inherent unity. Since then, Lahlou has committed herself to promoting an understanding and acceptance of Arab culture, taking on several initiatives to that end. One such program led her across several Connecticut schools to share the values of Arab culture. She went on to gain her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Sciences, graduating Magna Cum Laude, and received an MBA in International Business Management and Marketing with high honors at the University of New Haven.

As a refugee from Iraq, Basma Alawee has worked towards advocating for refugee voices and rights throughout the world. She aims to unite refugee and immigrant communities in order to expand conversations surrounding their well-being as well as to build collective understanding. To that end, Alawee founded WeaveTales in 2019 to develop programs to help refugees use the mediums of writing and storytelling to share their lived experiences. Additionally, she works as the National Campaign Director for We Are All America and National Partnership of New Americans. Alawee's ultimate goal is to build inclusivity and acceptance in the national narrative surrounding refugees and Muslims.

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