AAU is the first private university to have an alumnus awarded at the ceremony hosted by Dům zahraniční spolupráce (The Centre for International Cooperation in Education.)
AAU Alumnus Hadi Al Khatib, was selected as a joint-winner by DZS for International Accomplishment in the Foreign Graduates category. Universities were asked to nominate a foreign graduate which has proved successful in their field or in another exceptional way contributes to spreading the good name of Czech higher education. Hadi was recognized along with fellow foreign alumni and award recipients Akash Ravi and Milijan Erbez.
(Pictured left to right: Elizabeth Novacek, Hadi Al Khatib and Richard Olehla)
Hadi Al Khatib is one of Anglo-American University's most distinguished international alumni. Graduating with a Bachelor in International Relations in 2016, he has worked in Tanzania, Greece and the Czech Republic developing a professional specialization in refugee rights – an issue with mounting weight globally – with a special focus on capacity building.
Prior to attending AAU, Hadi studied law in Syria, his country of birth, but these studies were interrupted by conflict in 2012, leading hime to arrive in Prague the same year. Even as a student, Hadi demonstrated exceptional initiative on the topic of refugees and the EU, participating in 40+ panel discussions, presenting at local high schools, and writing articles for Amnesty International. For his thesis, he sought to understand the refugee crisis and stakeholder reactions under a broader lens by writing on the topic of borders and the perception of identity.
Hadi’s knowledge, experience, and drive were quickly sought out by NGOs and municipalities in regions where refugee crises are more pressing. He worked in Greece with three NGOs, including the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), and with the city of Thessaloniki to aid community building, while also conducting research in the wake of the European migrant crisis. In 2018, the NRC moved Hadi to Tanzania, to work in a refugee camp which presently hosts 153,000 people as a result of political instability and violence. Over his six month placement there, he acted as one of three international staff among 83 local NRC employees, training other staff, conducting research, and writing a recommendation report.
Currently, Hadi is working on the Refugee Trauma Initiative’s Youth Capacity Building Project as a Project Consultant in Greece, where he seeks to facilitate grass-roots solutions for displaced communities with international NGOs and governments and also is one of the founders and an executive board member of INANA – Inclusion & Art Network, a non-profit organization which promotes intercultural dialogue, of cooperation and integration through art.
"There is a realization which is surfacing that the strength of a community is in its diversity, its different perspectives and the productive dialogue between those perspectives. So I’m thankful and grateful for the people I have met here in Prague and AAU for providing a platform of growth and critical thinking.“ - Hadi Al Khatib
Publication date: December 12, 2019