University: St. Olaf College
Major: Political Science and Spanish
Languages: Arabic, English, and intermediate Spanish and French
Download Karem’s resume
Biography: I am originally from Iraq where I lived for thirteen years until my family was forced to migrate to Syria. When I was 14, my family and I were granted refugee status in the United States, which led me to learn English and as a result sparked my interest in learning other languages. During my migration, I saw people who lived between the borders of Iraq and Syria and who were considered stateless – living in tents without access to basic resources. Witnessing those events inspired me to become involved in politics and social change, specifically regarding people living in poverty or inhumane conditions.
I am currently in Costa Rica studying Spanish and will be interning for an organization focused on immigration. This summer, I was the “Learning Coordinator” at LITS Global in Prague, Czech Republic, and the summer before that I interned for Canyon News in Los Angeles and completed FGL’s Leadership Expedition through the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) in the Rocky Mountains. These experiences have reaffirmed my leadership skills and inspired me to create the St. Olaf Students For Refugees, Asylum Seekers, and Stateless People (RAS). RAS is the only group on campus raising awareness, funds and advocating for displaced individuals worldwide. I also serve on the Political Awareness Committee at St. Olaf where we plan political weekly events for an average 50-100 attendees and special events with guest speakers such as Al Sharpton, Newt Gingrich, Olympia Snowe.