Basma Alawee

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Basma Alawee is an Iraq-born, Florida-based activist on refugee issues.[1]

Early life

Alawee was born in Baghdad, during the Iran–Iraq War|Iran-Iraq War, where she studied engineering.[2]

Move to USA

After her husband took a job with a US-run organisation, their lives were threatened. In 2010, Alawee and her husband moved as refugees to Jacksonville, Florida|Jacksonville, Florida.[2][3][4]


While in Iraq, Alawee worked at the national Department of Oil.[2]

Upon arrival in the USA at first volunteered at Lutheran Social Services, at World Relief and other Catholic Charities doing interpretation and other refugee-support work. Later, she was hired by Alden Road Exceptional Student Center as a teacher before moving to The Foundation Academy to teach science and mathematics.[2]

In 2013 she became the Florida delegate for the Refugee Congress.

In 2018 she became the inaugural Organizer for the Florida Immigrant Coalition.[2][5][6] In 2019,[3] she founded for Nonprofit organization|not-for-profit WeaveTales[7] and was a key part of the founding of the Iraqi Family Organization, an entity that helps Arabs teach each other.[2]

She currently works as the national campaign manager for campaign organisation We Are All America.[1][8]

In 2021 she campaigned for Americans to welcome Afghan refugees.[1][9] And invited others to mobilise support for refugees:“We need to shift from being advocates to organizers. Instead of me going to represent them, I am training and empowering my community so we can go together and represent, not speak on behalf of one another.”[4] In 2020 she won an EVE award.[2]


Alawee's husband is Ali Aljubouri, and they have two daughters, Dana, and Rodina.[2][10]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Di Gregorio, Renata (3 September 2021). "'Welcome with our voice, welcome with our votes': Activists discuss what's next for Afghan refugees". Retrieved 2021-11-13.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Strickland, Sandy. "EVE winner: After escape from Iraq, Basma Alawee lobbies for refugees". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved 2021-11-13.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Florida Refugee Advocacy Week Teaches Others To 'Be A Good Neighbor'". WUWF. 2021-03-18. Retrieved 2021-11-13.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Gómez, Laura; 20 June 2021, Florida Phoenix (2021-06-20). "Settled into new homes, refugees in US say they are working for a better life for all". Florida Phoenix. Retrieved 2021-11-13.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. "'I can't wait': Former refugees to cast first US votes on Nov. 3". Christian Science Monitor. 2020-09-28. ISSN 0882-7729. Retrieved 2021-11-13.
  6. "At home on the pitch: Refugees in Florida find community in football". Middle East Eye. Retrieved 2021-11-13.
  7. Parker, Marilyn (2021-02-08). "Refugees, immigrants in Jacksonville pleased with Biden executive order to increase refugee cap". WJXT. Retrieved 2021-11-13.
  8. "'From Women to the World': powerful letters by female Arab activists among new anthology". The National. Retrieved 2021-11-13.
  9. Priscilla Alvarez, Jennifer Hansler and Kylie Atwood. "Pressure builds on Biden administration to lift refugee cap after months-long delay". CNN. Retrieved 2021-11-13.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. Parker, Marilyn (2021-06-20). "12-year-old refugee advocate following in her mother's footsteps". WJXT. Retrieved 2021-11-13.

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