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One World Activists


Ala'a Basatneh

Honored by Amnesty International as Human Rights Hero, Ala’a Basatneh’s efforts in Syria have made her the main character of Hollywood feature documentary #ChicagoGirl. Born in Damascus, she was schooled and raised in Chicago. At only 19 she became an imminent link in the Syrian revolution. By means of social media she connected 100s of thousands of activists in Syria with journalists, expatriates, Syrian students studying abroad, and orchestrated lines of communication. From translation news coming from the warzones, alarming villagers of planned attacks so they would be able to escape just in time with little children, to raising awareness with the hashtag #SpeakUpforSyrianChildren.

28:06 | 2015

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About Al'a Basatneh

Only a college student, Ala’a Basatneh has accomplished things way beyond her years. Along with studying and working part time at a school in the city, Basatneh has gained a distinguished honor globally in the political world. Whether she is attending high-level meetings, meeting with congressmen, United Nations and Amnesty International officials, and/or Foreign Affairs Ministers for Iraq, Morocco, Japan, the UAE, the UK and Italy regarding political issues, or meeting with Secretary Hilary Clinton, she is still just a student as well as someone’s daughter. Furthermore, Ala’a Basatneh has kept up with her educational goals while travelling around the world for these meetings. Having a good education is still her number-one priority. Basatneh has not let the honor and esteem from these meetings affect her. Volunteering is something she has done ever since she was 14 years old. Most importantly, Basatneh is proud of her culture and her past, even teaching Arabic to a class of 36 students alone at a community center. Building a bridge between the Arab world and the United States of America is her goal. Majoring in political science and gaining experience from these meetings is her way of helping others see the universal connection between us all. Ala’a Basatneh has been featured in several newspapers, including the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. Basatneh is the main character in a Hollywood documentary that will be released in the upcoming months. Amnesty International named her one of the Human Rights Heroes of 2014.

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