A Classroom Without Borders

I don’t know where to start. The story goes back to my first year of college in Syria. “Don’t you think Hatahet would be a designer?” said Professor Michalle Zayat (I think he probably was making fun of me). For the past 10 years, it felt like when I made a step forward something would…

Sustaining Our Dreams: the Jusoor Alumni Association

May 16, 2015 will always be a memorable day for the Joint IIT-Jusoor Initiative. It was the day where 15 Syrian youth had their graduation ceremony after a very long, challenging and interesting journey here in the United States. The program that was launched three years ago when Illinois Institute of Technology invited university students…

Small Efforts Matter: let’s make giving contagious

A few days ago, I had the chance to participate in Chicago’s Hot Chocolate 5k/15k Run along with many of other Syrians. Some of us were volunteering while others were running to raise money. The annual Chicago race aims at raising money for the Ronald McDonalds House that provides temporary housing for many families in…

To all journalists around the world…

“The courage in journalism is sticking up for the unpopular, not the popular.” Photo credit http://www.mirror.co.uk These are the words of Geraldo Rivera on journalism and if we want to mention an example from our reality, James W. Foley would be the perfect one. From a teacher in Arizona to one in Chicago for Teach…

My One-in-Thirteen-Million friend,

Saturday, Oct 4th. I have planned this trip to the Planetarium for a while, yet I never had time to do it. The planetarium Museum in Chicago is one of my favorite museums in the world, even before today. My good luck this time allowed me to finally make that visit to the Planetarium and…

Central Park NYC

New York, one of the most famous states in the US and the destination of 50 million tourists every year; the state that never disappoints any tourist since it’s almost impossible to be bored in such an amazing and diverse place. From Times Square; the most crowded place on earth, to the Empire State Building,…

Choose to Move Forward – and transform lives

In the last two years, I have learned a great deal. Now, as I look back and I remember the last 24 months, it seems as if it was only just yesterday that I was arriving from Syria. The lessons I have gained represent more than the technological skills and knowledge acquired because I have…

What a true fan really means

  Original                                                                     English Ce sont les meilleures équipes                            …

Impact of Hackathons

Hackathon; probably you have heard this word from a friend or read it on a Facebook page. But have you ever wondered what does it mean or where does it come from? If you try to look it up in a dictionary or on an online translator you may not get a precise translation. So,…

The Father of Syrians did not die today

As I browse through my Facebook trying to choose my words wisely before writing this post, I can hardly find any expressions whether in Arabic or in English to describe the face that is showing literally in every post by my Syrian friends.    Pictures of one old man with my friend as a kid;…

TEDxIIT

Two of the Syrian Women at IIT share their thoughts about TEDxIIT: “We are all looking forward to the TEDx event happening tomorrow (April 5th) at IIT. This year, we even have more reasons to be excited about this event, as our Syrian friend Raed Tawil will be there as one of the speakers. This…

Active Citizen Summit

Richard J. Schmierer, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, and David A. Staples, Outreach Coordinator, from the State of Illinois visited us at IIT last Thursday to meet some of the Syrian students, and I was lucky enough to be there. During that visit, they learned more about us and IIT’s Syrian initiative. On the…