KIE alumna Leena El-Sadek discusses work with refugees for Duke Magazine

Writing for the winter 2015 Duke Magazine, Leena El-Sadek (T’15), an alumna of the Kenan Institute for Ethics’ DukeImmerse: Uprooted/Rerouted program, former Bass Connections team member, and co-founder of Supporting Women’s Action (SuWA) recently discussed the impact that hearing refugees’ personal stories has had on her own life.

Khalid was a student in my English and photography classes three years ago at a refugee organization in Egypt. He was one of many unaccompanied teenagers who escaped home— in his case, Sudan—in the hope of securing a better life elsewhere. Other students came from Eritrea, Iraq, Palestine, Central African Republic, Syria, Somalia, and Afghanistan. After nearly every sentence I spoke, five students eagerly translated the lesson to the others. These students, just like ones at Duke, were inspired and energized by educational opportunities, which explains why they endured the tedious translation process in my class. They were determined to resettle in the U.S. and someday bring their families over.