Meet Ahmad Soofe. Ahmad is a 17-year-old student originally from Mosul. His family was forced to move to Erbil after the ISIS takeover of his hometown. Ahmad is making the most of his Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program experience in San Diego and plans on using his newly acquired leadership skills, which he’s been honing in San Diego, to help rebuild Mosul and assist other refugees and internally displaced people.
Ahmad is a highly skilled pianist, composer, computer programmer and aspiring pilot. Ahmad is also one of our 10 incredible young leaders on this life-changing exchange program that the San Diego Diplomacy Council is hosting for a two-week long summer exchange program ending on July 22. The students were selected to be a part of IYLEP (Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program), a U.S. State Department-funded program that brings Iraqi high school students to the U.S. to focus on leadership and civic engagement.
The students are getting a taste of the American way of life. They are living with American home hosts for two weeks, learning about American customs and traditions. They also have the opportunity to connect to the local Muslim American community, learn about conflict resolution and leadership from our local experts and visit to San Diego’s iconic locations.
This Program for Ahmad and other young leaders would not be possible without the collaboration of the Exchange Programs – U.S. Department of State, U.S. Embassy Baghdad, World Learning, and our generous home hosts.