Alumni Spotlight: Sarah Masoud (BAIS ’14)


Currently, I am working at the International Institute in St. Louis, Missouri. It’s a refugee resettlement agency that also offers many free services to immigrants and asylees in the county. I am an Employment Specialist and focus on helping immigrants and refugees locate employment. Additionally, I am working on expanding a new program called Career Pathways, which is an additional service that guides any foreign-born individual towards achieving their professional career and educational goals. This program helps people that were professionals in their home country to practice in their field in the U.S.

On another note, I am involved with 1951 Coffee Company. On the weekends, I am working as a barista at a local cafe to gain experience. In the future, I hope to help the current team secure funding for a second location and open a branch in St. Louis.


The Plight of the Refugee

June 20th was World Refugee Day. MAIS student and activist, Meron Semedar, wrote and recited a powerful poem that we’re proud to share here. Meron read his poem at an event in Oakland that brought together more than 750 people.

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The plight of a refugee: 

Tormented by war

Tortured by oppression

Enslaved by dictators

Dehumanized by persecution,


Denied to assemble

Not allowed to practice my religion

Could not choose my gender

Suffered for belonging to my ethnicity

Lost my dignity

I became a refugee,


Crossing boarder just to get little safety

Braved shoot to kill policy

Became smugglers property

Abandoned in the Sahara desert

Kept hostage for ransom

Traffickers sold my organ

My body in the Mediterranean

I am an Eritrean

Continue reading “The Plight of the Refugee”

1st Annual Restore Hope for Refugees Banquet

On March 31, the Multicultural Graduate Student Alliance (MGSA) hosted the 1st Annual Restore Hope for Refugees Banquet to raise funds for the Kayany Foundation to help build a classroom for Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

Several MAIS students are involved in the organization which partnered with USF ASAUSF Arab Student Union and USFCA Muslim Student Association to organize the fundraising event. The over 100 people in attendance enjoyed performances from ASWAT Bay Area Arabic Music Ensemble Group and the Shabab Al Quds Dabke Group plus special guests Bandar Shawwaf from the Friends of Kayany Inc and the talented Dima Khatib Managing Director of the Aj+ Global and her son Fares who recited Arab poetry.

The event raised $3,810 toward the $6,500 needed to cover the cost of a clean, safe, and climate-controlled classroom that accommodates up to 35 Syrian refugee children in an environment that foster’s education, empowerment, and healthy living. To contribute to this cause, you can donate by clicking here.

Special thanks to Old Jerusalem Restaurant for catering our banquet and all the organizations/businesses who donated items and funded this amazing event. This includes: University of San Francisco, the USF Graduate Student SenateUniversity of San Francisco School of Management, the Middle East Children’s AllianceJewish Voice for Peace, Sharif’s Jewelers, Sephora, LUSH Cosmetics, CREAM, King Kush Clothing Plus, Ashbury Tabaco, Costco Corporation, Samiramis Imports, Philz Coffee,Rumi Book Store, theAROC: Arab Resource & Organizing Center and the Arab Cultural & Community Center.