Soleen Karim, School of Architecture Alum and Co-Founder of Design4Refugees, Featured in Summer Edition of the Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine
The refugee crisis in Syria hit close to home for Soleen Karim, graduate of the Dual Master of Architecture and Master of City and Regional Planning (’15) program at Georgia Tech, who’s family fled from Iraq in the time leading up to the Gulf War in 2988. Together with her sister, Kurdeen Karim, she founded Design4Refugees Corp to provide for the needs of people living in refugee camps in their family’s native Iraqi-Kurdistan, as well as those already working to rebuild their lives in America.
In an article published in the Summer 2018 edition of the Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine titled, “Helping Strangers in a Strange Land” by Melissa Fralick noted that Karim started Design4Refugees while in graduate school at Tech in 2014. The organization was designed to build shelters that could be implemented in the Iraqi camps serving refugees as they were fled war-torn Syria. Collaborative design and labor supported by a modest crowdfunding budget of $4,000, a community center began to take shape. “It wasn’t me watching and directing—it was me in the dirt with them laying brick,” Karim said. “From that, they developed a trust and connection with us.”