Arts for Humanity

Poetry can be universal just as it can be powerful. Abdi Phenomenal, a spoken word artist who grew up as a Somalian refugee, showcased that as he took the stage at UIC’s “Arts for Humanity” event sponsored by Zakat Foundation of America (ZF). Abdi touched upon issues of forced migration and displacement – topics that are once again at the forefront against the background of the current refugee crisis. Ifrah Magan, Refugee Resettlement Coordinator at ZF, was also one of the guest speakers who emphasized the importance of providing an education to the refugee youth and the work ZF was currently doing in response to the humanitarian issue. “That part of me never left,” commented Abdi on his upbringing as a refugee and maintaining who he was in a new country. “Poetry was used as a tool to talk about these issues of identity crisis.”

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