This semester, CMES students Anna Boots, Chloe Bordewich, Blaire Byg, Alice Duesdieker, Eleanor Ellis, Ethan Mefford, Kim Quarantello, Hannah Riggs, and Becca Wadness participated in events to welcome Syrian refugees who have recently resettled in Lowell, Massachusetts.
The Middle East Refugee Service Initiative (MERSI), a student-run organization at the Harvard Kennedy School, organizes these events to connect Arab refugees with Arabic-speaking Harvard students from across the University. CMES shared its living room for a brunch with Middle Eastern food and live Arabic music in late January, the same weekend that President Trump unveiled his first executive order to ban immigration from Muslim-majority countries to the United States. In March, a group of students from Lowell High School came for dinner and a tour of the Harvard Semitic Museum. And in April, MERSI hosted a refugee storytelling evening to celebrate the community that the Harvard students have built with their counterparts in Lowell and to learn more about their experiences in Syria and relocating to the United States.