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Quigley Invites Alaa Basatneh as State of the Union Guest

Jan 7, 2016
Press Release
Star of #chicagoGirl documentary

WASHINGTONToday, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05) invited Alaa Basatneh, a young Syrian American woman from Chicago, to be his guest to President Obama’s last State of the Union Address on Tuesday, January 12, 2016.

“I became acquainted with Miss Basatneh a few months ago when I held a screening of #chicagoGirl in D.C., the documentary that tells her amazing story,” said Rep. Quigley. “Alaa has played a crucial role in the Syrian Revolution from her bedroom in suburban Chicago. By using social media, she has helped organize protests across Syria and expose the atrocities being committed by President Assad’s regime. Over the past few months, we have seen a shocking and alarming rise in hateful rhetoric against Muslims in our nation. Alaa is an incredible example of how to make an impact in our world and deserves to be celebrated. By attending President Obama’s State of the Union Address, I hope that Alaa’s story can help inspire love and compassion over fear and discrimination.”

Alaa Basatneh moved to Chicago from Syria with her parents when she was six months old. When she was only nineteen years old and living in the United States, Alaa became involved in the Syrian Revolution. She would spend up to 10 hours a day organizing protests in Syria, where she would map escape routes and post videos from people on the ground to inspire more action against the Assad regime. She recently graduated from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, IL with a bachelor’s degree in political science and Arabic studies. She has traveled to Syria twice, bringing with her vital supplies for her friends on the ground.