City of Residence: Atlantic Beach, Florida
Country of origin: Iraq
Arrival in the U.S.: 2010
Ms. Basma Alawee her husband were forced to flee Iraq when her family was targeted due to her husband’s employment by an American company. Ms. Alawee now lives in Atlantic Beach, Florida with her husband and two daughters. Although she was a material engineer in Iraq, Ms. Alawee struggled to get credential recognition in the United States. Instead she obtained a teaching certificate and now teaches math and science at a middle school and volunteers as an Arabic interpreter. Ms. Alawee is very involved with the Iraqi Family Organization through World Relief, and works tirelessly to change people’s perceptions and increase cultural understanding of Muslims and people from the Middle East. She is most proud of teaching and educating middle and high school students about refugees through her work, and guiding them to volunteer and help refugees in Jacksonville.
To Basma, the U.S. means: Knowing my rights and responsibilities