WeaveTales is telling stories around the world

Seyeon and Basma, creators of WeaveTales
Seyeon Hwang (far left) and Basma Alawee (second from right), creators of WeaveTales, speaking at the University of Florida, October 2018. Photo courtesy of SPOHP.

Weavetales is looking for the stories of refugees, immigrants, and other displaced people. Tell us your story, and have it heard by the world.

As the name shows, the website WeaveTales brings together the threads of many tales, or stories, into one piece. WeaveTales collects and presents the stories of displaced people. We present the stories in different ways – as well as the website, we have made videos, given public lectures, created an exhibition, and published a book. So far, we have shared the stories of refugee women, Arab immigrants and refugees, and refugees in Florida.

What we are doing

Our goal is to find the real voices of refugees and other displaced people. We want to humanize and correct the narratives surrounding them so that all people, regardless of where they come from and where they finally settle, can find a safe and permanent home. We also support freedom of speech, particularly in conflict-ridden countries, and we will protect the voices of refugees and other minorities.

In 2020, we are launching the New Americans Speaker Directory, a directory of refugees, documented and undocumented immigrants, and DACA recipients who could be the next public speaker at your local events. We will provide our speakers with the resources and training to improve their public speaking skills to better deliver their newcomer stories in public.

Tell your story

We cannot exist without the migrants and refugees who bravely share their stories. We are always here to listen to your experiences of migration. Go to our website to make your story part of our collection. And, if you want your story to reach a live audience, you can join our New Americans Speaker Directory.

Weavetales exhbition
An exhibition organized by WeaveTales to share the stories of Arab American artists and immigrants, Jacksonville, Florida, January 2020. Photo courtesy of Leah Hassan.

Basma’s story

This month marks the 10th anniversary of when Basma came to the USA as a refugee from Iraq. After a two-year vetting process, she and husband were resettled in Florida in 2010. At first, Basma taught math and science at local schools, but she found her mission in advocacy for refugee communities in her state. Since 2018, she has been the refugee organizer at the Florida Immigrant Coalition. Basma believes in the power of storytelling to improve the lives of millions of displaced people worldwide.

Seyeon’s story

Seyeon grew up in a divided Korea, surrounded by heartbreaking stories of family separations and horrors during the Korean War. But it was after she emigrated that Seyeon opened her eyes to the untold journeys of refugees. She studies and teaches college students about cities, justice, citizenship, forced migration, and globalization. Seyeon believes that understanding the experiences of displaced peoples should be the first step to setting policies for migrating populations.

Creating WeaveTales

Together, we decided to create a nonprofit organization that focuses on the collection and sharing of refugees’ and migrants’ stories around the world. We have been working together ever since. Storytelling is our tool to help people find a safe home.

To learn more about our work or contact us, please visit our website www.weavetales.org or email us at basma@weavetales.org or seyeon@weavetales.org. Thank you.

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