Amal Kassir | Clinton School Presents

Amal Kassir

Interview with Amal Kassir for NPR affiliate KUAR on Clinton School Presents, a weekly dialogue of distinguished guests that visit the Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock, Arkansas. Nikolai DiPippa, Clinton School Director of Public Programs, sat down with Amal Kassir, the daughter of an American mother and a Syrian father, who was raised in Denver but lived for many years in Syria. While living in Syria, she came to understand the suffering of the people there, especially rural farmers and children, while the freedoms she has living in the U.S. has allowed her to become an activist on their behalf. Now a college student in Denver, Kassir attends classes and works at her father’s Syrian restaurant during the week. On the weekends, she tours the United States performing her spoken word poetry at festivals and political rallies. In 2012, she won the Grand Slam prize at the Brave New Voices International Youth Competition for a poem called “Syria.” Her poetry often blends images of simple family pleasures in Syria with the contrasting harsh treatment of government soldiers, and over the last seven years of performing, the theme of Kassir’s poetry has evolved to a call of political and social justice.