Thanks to her unwavering efforts and determination, our founder and director, Dr. Rouba Mhaissen, has had the honor of being recognized for her work with Syrian refugees by the international community and other leading champions of human rights and democracy.

2019 marked a particularly notable year for Dr. Mhaissan, whowas a laureat for two prestigious awards.

Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards

In April, Dr. Mhaissen attended the 18th Annual Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards in Washington, DC., where she was honoured for her work and for standing at the frontline of change with regard to the Syrian cause. The 2,500 attendees were first presented a touching video, produced be the VV team, entitled “Rouba’s Manifesto,” before she took the stage to receive her award.

She also addressed the audience in a speech touching upon inequalities of today’s world, human values, and how we can all make a difference through simple, human actions. Along with the Vital Voices board and supporters, other notable attendees included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former Sect. of State Hillary Clinton, Diane Von Furstenberg and Tina Turner

Rafto Prize

In October, it was announced that Dr. Mhaissen had been chosen as the 2019 laureate for the esteemed Rafto Prize. The basis for the decision was once again her defense of human rights, but also for achieving significant action at a local level, an issue important issue at the global level, describing her as “a relentless and powerful defender of human rights of refugees.”

Dr. Mhaissen travelled to Norway in November in order to accept her prize, spending time with students and members of the Rafto Foundation. The Foundation was established in memory of Professor Thorolf Rafto (1986-1922), human rights activist and professor of Economic History at the Norwegian School of Economics.



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