Jwan Hajee

I’ll not soon forget the day Sarah brought her friend, Jwan, to check out Granny’s House. Her dark eyes flickered with curiosity, her rope-like braids dangled near her waist as she quizzed us about this place her classmate had been telling her about. I shared a few details about Granny’s House with her and then said, “Sarah, since you’re in The Princess Academy, why don’t you tell her about it?” Sarah rattled off details about service projects, meeting times, and field trips, but it’s when she said, “…and we learn about God” that Jwan’s countenance lit up like a sparkler as she interrupted, “God! You learn God here?”

Since that day, I’ve had many conversations with Jwan and her mother about their journey from Iraq to Columbia, MO – a story so compelling that, instead of bringing in a Keynote speaker for this year’s Princess Academy Graduation, we asked Jwan to share her story. Her speech brought tears to the eyes of many.

While at KAA, word of her incredible journey circulated among the counselors and when KAA Senior Staff heard about Jwan, they asked her to share her story with the K2 kampers, Kaleos, counselors and Senior KAA Leadership. What a joy to have 400+ people hear of her family’s escape from Iraq. Since the sound quality of the video is not very clear, I have included the text of her speech as well. Enjoy!!. –G.P.