2017 General Assembly Week of Compassion Breakfast

Laila Alawa

Laila Alawa

Week of Compassion is excited to welcome Laila Alawa as the featured speaker for our breakfast at General Assembly.

Ms. Alawa is the founder and CEO of The Tempest (thetempest.co), a media company which seeks to amplify the diverse voices of millennial women around the world. She also works in public relations and social media branding for NuDay Syria, an NGO bringing humanitarian aid to people in Syria and the surrounding countries displaced by the ongoing civil war.

A unifying motivation inspires the whole of Ms. Alawa’s work, which she pursues with focus and tenacity, “ensuring no woman or girl is again silenced or stereotyped.” As the eldest of eight children in a Syrian immigrant family, Ms. Alawa has a keen empathy for those who are excluded from social circles and a passion for giving people opportunities to “reacquaint themselves with the power they have” within them.

In creating The Tempest, she has connected women from across the world around topics that range from the exposes on abuses of domestic workers in Saudi Arabia, to reflections on racial violence in the United states, to the best tips for thrift-store shopping. With more than 1000 writers from 20 different countries, the conversations on The Tempest make evident that, as Ms. Alawa says, “the issues that affect one country have reverberations, ripples around the world.”

Those reverberations are at the heart of her work with NuDay Syria as well. The organization focuses on safe housing and economic opportunities for women, especially single mothers with daughters. Ms. Alawa frames the work in terms of hope and humanity, saying they work to restore hope, for, “hopelessness is the biggest way for evil to get in.”

"These could be the kids playing next to your kids at soccer games… these women, they could be praying next to you in church. We are them.... I lost my first tooth while visiting family in Syria when I was 6 years old, and there are children now who will never even have that chance," she said of the people affected by this war.

Our hope at Week of Compassion aligns with hers -- that we might all see “the children there as everyone’s children,” and that we might work together for peace and equity for all people. We are honored to host Ms. Alawa on Tuesday, July 11th at 7:00 am at J. W. Marriott Grand Ballroom #6.  We invite you to join us.