Your Name and Title: Wai Chum

School or Organization Name: Qatar Foundation International

Co-Presenter Name(s): Priscila Bellini & Abeedah Diab

Area of the World from Which You Will Present: United States, Portugal, Qatar

Language in Which You Will Present: English

Target Audience(s): K-12 Teachers, Middle/Jr. High Students, Educators in general

Short Session Description (one line): 

The Refugee Story Circle is a student-initiated, multinational effort where young global citizens are using storytelling to not only raise awareness, but also to reach out in solidarity to their Syrian peers who are suffering from the cruel effects of war.

Full Session Description (as long as you would like): 

The Refugee Story Circle is a student-initiated project under Qatar Foundation International (QFI). Priscila Bellini, a student journalist from Brazil, and Wai Chum, a nursing student from US, are both the leaders of this project. This project begins with learning the stories of resettled refugees around the Greater Seattle area through multimedia, video conferencing and online discussion, with the inspiration to amplify the voices of young people currently living in refugee camps. 

We are creating a zine to serve as a platform of dialogue between Syrian refugees at Al-Zaatari camp and youth from around the world. The idea is that refugee youth can make their voices heard through storytelling of their personal experience, while youth from around the world respond with letters of encouragement. We, as ordinary citizens, hope to bypass conventional media outlets to build a bridge of solidarity with our Syrian friends, and to connect each other first-hand on a human level with respect and dignity.


Since the conception of this project almost two years ago, this project has matured over the collaboration with various partners: Three Chairs for Refugees, World Affairs Council of Seattle, Professor Kathie Friedman at the University of Washington, and Studio Syria. In April 2015, this project has taken us to the National Service-Learning Conference in Washington DC, with the support of QFI. We had the honor to lead an educational workshop to raise awareness about the Syrian crisis and to present artworks created by Syrians at Al-Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan (thanks to Studio Syria for its contribution), which attracted enthusiastic responses from the audience. Together with artworks from Al-Zaatari camp and audience responses was born the zine, Hurriyah.

Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session:

Refugee Story Circle Overview -

Hurriyah Zine -

2015 RSC Videoconference recording -

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This sounds fascinating! We're looking forward to having more students participate in the conference. Thanks for submitting a proposal. 

Really looking forward to this presentation! Such an important issue RIGHT NOW. Students reaching out to young people- letting them know that we care and we know they are there, plus raising money for art supplies! I can imagine a little bit goes a long way. See you all on Thursday!


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