Ahmed is a 21-year-old writer, social entrepreneur, poet, and former Iraqi refugee working at the intersection of creativity, displacement, and youth empowerment. On July 25th, 2006, Ahmed's home in Baghdad was bombed by militia troops. He and his family relocated to Syria as refugees for two and a half years before receiving approval to move to the United States. Ahmed founded Narratio, a platform for youth empowerment through creative expression. Narratio publishes works of art from all over the globe, and hosts workshops centered around the power of storytelling and creativity. In the last three years, Ahmed’s storytelling initiatives have reached over 20 million people across the world.
In collaboration with the Syrian artist and architect Mohamad Hafez, Ahmed launched UNPACKED: Refugee Baggage, a multi-media installation that remodels the homes of refugees inside a series of suitcases in an effort to humanize and give voice to a demographic that is often viewed in the abstract.
Ahmed is a Senior at Wesleyan University, where he is a Fellow at the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life. Ahmed is currently working on his debut book which focuses on the creative expression of refugee youth across the world, to be published by Andrews McMeel in 2020. Having spoken at the United Nations on more than ten occasions before the age of 20, his work has been featured and supported by the World Bank, SAP, Harvard University, Yale University, OECD, BuzzFeed Tasty, TEDxTeen, Instagram, NPR, Global Citizen, and others. This past September, Ahmed was selected by the Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake, as one of 17 UN Young Leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals.