What is it like to welcome a stranger into your home? What is it like to live in a foreign world? In this moving and personal interview Faraj and Shoshana explore the experiences of leaving behind war-torn Aleppo and building a new life in Cambridge. Although on the surface they have little in common, they share their experiences of challenging preconceptions, embracing difference and finding new family. Faraj is a Syrian refugee from Aleppo. Living through the conflict was a challenge – but as a gay man in Syria, life was even less straightforward. Growing up in a conservative Muslim household meant that Faraj struggled to gain acceptance by his loved ones and discussions around his identity led to frequent arguments. In 2012, Faraj and his family woke up to the sound of bombs and fled to Cairo. His family continued to struggle with who he was and, soon after, he secretly left for Turkey, leaving his home, his school and his family behind.

As a family lawyer, Shoshana is familiar with helping to resolve conflict. After welcoming Faraj, a Syrian refugee, into her Cambridge home, she has continued to use her professional and personal experiences to reach out to others. As a practicing Jew, Shoshana believes that everyone has the ability to create positive change in the lives of others, no matter how big or small. She attributes her approach to her family background. Her mother was a New York based psychoanalyst and her grandfather was a rabbi, the 19th in a long line of Jewish scholars, originating from Latvia. Shoshana strives for a world where every human being is valued – irrespective of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or class.

Speaking together at TEDxLondonSalon, Faraj Alnasser and Shoshana Goldhill will discuss identity and being accepted regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx

Faraj Alnasser, Shoshana Goldhill and Maryam Pasha

Lawyer, Student

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