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Advocacy and Achievement Go Hand in Hand for This Student 

Lina Altaan Al Hariri ’24 is a recent graduate with a triple major in political science, global language and area studies, and gender and women’s studies. Al Hariri hails from Daraa, a city in the south of Syria commonly referred to as the “Cradle of the Syrian Revolution.” At 11, she fled Syria and later immigrated to the United States at 14 through the International Organization for Migration. In 2020, she received her U.S. citizenship. 

Through her personal journey, Al Hariri developed a passion and dedication to public service and human rights advocacy for displaced populations. She started her higher education path at Rhode Island College but transferred to URI after her first year.   

She immediately connected with the diverse campus community, particularly the Muslim Student Association. Through the Muslim Student Association, she found a supportive community, and together they collaborated with other groups to raise funds for causes close to their hearts. In a single night, they raised $11,000 for humanitarian aid in Palestine, demonstrating Al Hariri’s commitment to making a difference.   

It wasn’t only the co-curricular activities that helped Al Hariri feel at home on campus, it was also the faculty and staff she interacted with. As an Honors Program member, she became close to Kathleen Maher, assistant director of the program.  

“I think she was the best thing that ever happened to me,” said Al Hariri. “If it weren’t for Kathleen Maher and my other professors like Brendan Skip Mark and Marc Hutchinson, I wouldn’t be where I am today in terms of confidence.”  

With this newfound confidence, Al Hariri applied to several prestigious scholarships, such as the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholar program, which allowed her to study abroad in Jordan, and the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, one of the premier graduate fellowships in the United States for public service leadership.  

“I believe scholarships are essential for everyone,” said Al Hariri. “I am a huge advocate for scholarships not only for myself but for others. If I see someone qualified for a scholarship, I always encourage them to apply and connect them with resources on campus to help them.”  

Al Hariri’s journey is far from over. She is set to begin a one-year master’s degree program at Oxford University, focusing on human rights for refugees. While her exact future is yet to be determined, she remains steadfast in her dedication to helping others, particularly refugees and immigrants.   

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