Top of page

2018 Refugee Essay Winners Share Compelling Stories

November 5th
2018 Refugee Essay Winners Share Compelling Stories figure

Don't miss our ceremony on Wednesday, November 7 at 6 pm, at Alhambra High School, where we will celebrate the winner's accomplishmments. Alhambra is located at 3839 W. Camelback Road, Phoenix, Az.

The winners are refugees attending high school in Arizona originally from Syria, Myanmar, Mexico, Nepal and Burundi.  Their stories recounted arduous journeys taken in hopes of a better life in America.

In video interviews, Safed House will portray the journey of Alaa Alothman, 2018 first prize essay winner, tells how she and her family escaped Aleppo, Syria, endured life in a Jordaian refugee camp, where she suffered prejudice and isolation. She summons memories of leaving her grandmother in Syria and the sadness of not being able to see her again before she died.

While in Jordan, she confesses that even though some treated her with prejudice she met influential teacher advocates there.  Alaa tells of finally gaining entry to the US, moving to Phoenix, once again meeting supportive teacher advocates who taught her English and gave her the strength to survive the transition to life in America.  She is now a Freshman at Phoenix College, studying to become an English teacher to give back to her fellow refugees.

In another video interview  Poung Change shares his story about his family’s departure from Myanmar for a refugee camp in Thailand and their experience of political oppression.  He tells how he made friends in the refugee camp and how he misses them and continues to stay in touch via social media.  Poung reveals the pain of leaving his grandmother behind in the refugee camp when he and hs mother were chosen by the UN to move to the US.  He confesses how the language barrier challenged him along the way and how he learned to cope with it.

The ceremony will also include awards to the runners up.

We hope you will join us to celebrate their accomplishments.