Diya Abdo

Dr. Diya Abdo is a second-generation Palestinian refugee, born and raised in Jordan. Her teaching, research, and scholarship focus on Arab women writers and Arab and Islamic feminisms with a particular interest in Arab women writers’ narrative strategies, life writing, and the cross-cultural translation of autobiography. She has also published poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction. Her public essays focus on the intersection of gender, political identity, and vocation. In 2015, Dr. Abdo founded the Every Campus A Refuge (ECAR) initiative which advocates for housing refugee families on college and university campus grounds and assisting them in resettlement. The flagship chapter at Guilford College, now one of several ECAR campuses, has hosted 52 refugees so far – 26 of them children – from Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC. Under this program, each refugee family is temporarily housed (for an average of 5 months) in available campus houses or apartments and is provided with free rent, utilities, Wi-Fi, use of college facilities and resources, as well as a large community of support in the form of the college campus and its friends. The daily work of hosting and assisting in resettlement is done by trained college and community volunteers. Dr. Abdo is the recipient of Campus Compact and Brown University’s Swearer Center’s 2019 Thomas Ehrlich Civically Engaged Faculty Award. She was named a finalist in the Arab Hope Makers Award (2018) and, along with ECAR, has received the Gulf South Summit’s 2017 Outstanding Service-Learning Collaboration in Higher Education Award and The Washington Center’s 2017 Civic Engagement in Higher Education Award. She has been making presentations about ECAR far and wide, including at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.