Mohsen Mahdawi ‘22 is a sophomore at Lehigh University pursuing a double-major in both Computer Science and Justice & Systematic Change. His journey began far from Bethlehem, PA and close to its namesake in Palestine. Mohsen was born and raised in the al-Faraa refugee camp in the West Bank of Palestine. Mohsen’s passion for peacemaking is motivated by his turbulent past living through the devastation and violence of war-- losing loved ones, being detained for hours at both Israeli and US borders, sustaining a bullet wound to his leg, and dealing with the aftermath of military attacks and bombings on civilians in his own community.
Since 2015, when he moved to the United States, Mohsen has been exercising his newly found freedom by connecting with people around the country, particularly focused on building bridges between Palestinians and Jewish communities. Only speaking English for 6 years, he has already shared his vision for a more equitable, just, peaceful future in more than 80 talks.
At Lehigh, Mohsen has catalyzed numerous movements for interconnection, equity, and inclusion, founding the Lehigh Union, a convening mechanism devoted to bringing all forms of justice to light through unification of underrepresented students and organizations in the Student Senate. Additionally, he serves as the President of the LU Multifaith Initiative, President and Founder of the Middle Eastern Students Union, and on the advisory committee for the Lehigh Art Galleries.