This post is the first entry in a new blog series that will detail the itineraries of both current and former Heads of State that participated in the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) through Meridian International Center. The entry below summarizes the IVLP itinerary of recently elected U.N. Secretary-General António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres.
After her husband was captured by a militant group, Hala faced the impossible choice of staying in war-torn Aleppo or seeking asylum in Europe for herself and her four children. Fleeing to Europe would mean leaving behind her mother and brother, her home, her job as an engineer—Hala would have to abandon a life she had built over 40 years. A PBS documentary followed Hala and her children through Europe as they became part of a group of more than 65 million forcibly displaced persons around the world. Continue