Refugee Kids: One Small School Takes On the World
Friday, April 7, 2017 at 7:00pm in Osher Hall
Hosted by the MECA Diversity Committee, this event is free and open to the MECA community and general public. Part of First Friday Art Walk activities.
Refugee Kids is a short documentary that follows students at a New York City summer program for children seeking asylum from the world’s most volatile conflicts. The film presents an intimate, emotionally gripping account of the students’ stories of escaping war and conflict and resettling in America, chronicling their triumphs and setbacks as their lives unfold over the course of one formative summer. Refugee Kids humanizes complex geopolitics and depict the challenges and urgency of immigration to American in an increasingly dangerous and interconnected world.
Reza Jalali and Ekhlas Ahmed will lead a discussion about the film immediately following the 46-minute film.
Reza Jalali, recognized as one of the eminent ethnic Americans in Making it in America: a sourcebook on eminent ethnic Americans (©2001by Elliott Robert Barkan) and named as one of Maine’s 50 leaders by Maine Magazine in 2016, is a writer, educator, and human rights activist. As a member of Amnesty International USA Board of Directors, Jalali has led delegations to different refugee camps in Turkey and Bosnia. He has participated in numerous United Nations-sponsored international conferences. In 1992, he visited the White House as part of a national delegation to discuss the plight of Kurdish refugees fleeing Iraq. Reza manages the Office of USM Multicultural Student Affairs and advises Muslim students at Bowdoin College.
Ms. Ekhlas Ahmed, a refugee and a civil rights activist from Darfur, Sudan, fled with her family to Egypt and lived there for two years before being resettled in Portland, Maine in 2005. She has since graduated high school with honors and earned a degree in sociology from University of Southern Maine with hopes of helping resettle refugees. She is the vice President and Co-founder of Darfur Youth of Tomorrow, an organization raising awareness related to the violence and unmet needs in Darfur. Currently Ms. Ahmed is an AmeriCorps member educating, helping to motivate Multilingual & Multicultural students through the Make It Happen Program at the Casco Bay High School.
For more information about the film: Refugee Kids: One Small School Takes On the World