Najla Fawwaz, Israel, has been out on Sarasota Bay with the Sailing Team. Loureen Sayej, West Bank, has been practicing with the co-ed flag football team. Rasha Masara, Syria, has been holding court in a film class, while Ayah Tafesh, Gaza, loves studying Spanish.
And Leen Al Fatafta, Jordan, is learning her fifth language, Hebrew, when she’s not giving dance lessons by the bay.
In common, these five women are all attending college on full, four-year scholarships – the first class of scholars to be supported through a partnership between New College of Florida and the Daughters for Life Foundation, with financial support from the Sarasota, Florida community.
Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, a Gaza physician, author and activist for peace, created the Foundation in 2011 after three of his daughters were killed by Israeli shelling. His hope is that educating women will empower them to bring progress and stability to the region.