Naruro Hassan: a vision of courage and grace

Naruro Hassan began with a number.

“There are 22 million refugees around the world,” she explained before defining what that word meant. “A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee their country due to war or violence.”

These factual and yet striking statements would set the stage for an impassioned speech about human rights at SRP’s annual Women’s Day luncheon. Held on March 5 at SRP’s PERA facility, Hassan was the featured speaker – and she spoke from experience.

Read more about Hassan’s story featured on ASU’s blog in 2018.

Naruro Hassan shares her extraordinary journey

Hassan was just a child when war broke out in her native Somalia. Afraid for her life, she escaped to a refugee camp where she would spend the next 10 years away from her family.

As fate would have it, her mother located her at the age of 16. She brought her to the United States to flee from the violence still raging in their home country.

“Home was not home anymore,” Hassan said. “It was a battlefield. We had to choose – our home or our survival.”

Transitioning to the United States was hard, she said. Things were different than she had pictured in her mind. And she was one of the lucky ones – Hassan spoke English and could more easily navigate through her new reality.

“I was born an activist. I’ve been fighting for my human rights. So I’m not a victim.”

Naruro Hassan

How to help

Others, she says, truly struggle, especially without a solid grasp yet of the language. Many are in a completely foreign place with nobody nearby who shares their culture.

They need help.

“Give them a voice,” said Hassan. “Listen to them. Educate them. Advocate for them.”

But don’t pity them.

“Refugees are people who have gone through extraordinary journeys,” said Hassan. “I was born an activist. I’ve been fighting for my human rights. So I’m not a victim.”

Each for equal

SRP’s employee interest group, Women’s Interest Network, built the event around the 2020 Women’s Day theme, “Each for Equal.

Especially to them, it’s critical that women earn the same level of success as men. SRP employee Lora Dal Bo moderated the event and asked Hassan to comment on the Women’s Day theme.

“Gender equality gives us a chance to voice our voice,” said Hassan.

SRP is proud of its legacy of supporting women in business within its workforce, through Supplier Diversity and in the community.

Hassan’s speech was a reminder to the attendees that we cannot make further strides without helping one another.

“It is our human responsibility to help one another,” she said.

Melissa

Melissa

Melissa is a communications consultant on SRP's Community, Communications and Marketing team. A transplant who moved to Phoenix with her husband, Melissa lives in an historic home and adores all things dogs and travel (especially when combined). She can found most often hiking an Arizona trail with her rescue cattle dog mix.

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