Voices of Syria by Jordan Hattar

Following one’s heart is a popular piece of career advice. But how does anyone do it?

Follow Jordan Hattar’s story, which took him from southern California to South Sudan, from university in California to the Syrian refugee camps, and from studying genocide intervention at the University of Cambridge to interning with First Lady Michelle Obama in the White House.

Jordan's presentation brings a human touch to humanitarian efforts in the Syrian crisis, motivates students to follow their hearts, and encourages students to fearlessly create their own path in life. During this session, a special guest will be joining us via Skype from Syria, to give an update on the humanitarian crisis.

Jordan Hattar

Jordan Hattar is a 25 year-old humanitarian and director of Help4Refugees.org.

Originally from Templeton, CA Jordan graduated from Templeton High School in 2010 and has since dedicated his time and efforts towards living a life of service. Instead of starting college the semester after high school, Jordan journeyed to South Sudan to work alongside Sudanese Lost Boy Deng Jongkuch to build a medical clinic in Deng’s home village of Malek. As a senior in high school, Jordan hosted a “Dinner 4 Sudan” that raised over $3500 to purchase 525 mosquito nets for pregnant women and children under five. In addition, Jordan also bought 420 math, english, and science books for the school in Malek.

In January of 2011, Jordan began college, majoring in International Studies at California State University Long Beach. In 2012, Syria captured a piece of Jordan’s heart. Jordan’s Arabic professor shared not just grammar of Arabic with Jordan, but she also shared the unimaginable and horrific sights within Syria due to the Syrian governments’ actions. Jordan wanted to better the lives of all Syrians going through this struggle so he spent the Fall of 2012 reporting and delivering humanitarian aid to the Syrian refugee camp of Zaatri.

While working with Syrian refugees in 2012, Jordan kept hearing from refugees that their greatest need was better housing. To meet the Syrians greatest need, Jordan teamed up with Olivia Wong to fundraise and deliver two caravans (prefabricated housing units) to the Zaatari Refugee Camp in the summer of 2013. After delivering the first two caravans, student groups in New York heard about what Olivia and Jordan did, and they also fundraised enough for two caravans in the Zaatari Camp. In November of 2014, Jordan turned the students money into two additional caravans.

Since the delivery of caravans Jordan went on to receive his Master's in International Relations and Politics from the University of Cambridge in 2016. Following Cambridge, Jordan interned with First Lady Michelle Obama's Reach Higher initiative in the White House. Since leaving the White House in January of 2017, Jordan has decided to follow in the footsteps of his mentor, Carl Wilkens, and speak full-time in schools and universities around the world.

If Jordan had one message for the world it would be: in order to make a positive difference in this world you don’t need a specific skill, just a heart. "Because, wherever your heart is, that is where you'll find your treasure."

Lectures and biopage for Jordan Hattar

Additional Info

  • Timetable: Friday, Session 3, 14:30-16:00 Congress Hall C