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Success Story: Ali A. Adam

Thirty-six-year old Ali A. Adam was born and raised in the South Darfur State of Sudan. “I am fluent in Arabic, English, Hebrew, and Tamok, which is a Tama tribal language and my mother tongue. I am passionate about discussing philosophy, law, and sociology and my most vivid childhood memories are being loved and respected by inhabitants of many nearby villages who discussed traditional oral law (not government law) on solving problems.”
Ali’s mentor Eisa Omer taught him many subjects in both primary and high schools, helped shape his personality to become wise, calm, and a skillful mediator and encouraged Ali to pursue education. “After graduating from high school, in 2007, I began academic studies in Sharia Law at Omdurman University in Khartoum; I graduated with an LLB degree, in 2011.”
A genocide survivor, Ali who was a democracy activist during university studies fled to Israel at age 26 mostly on foot and partly with Bedouin traffickers then crossed the Israeli-Egyptian border, in 2012. Ali’s mother, sister, and cousin have been living in a refugee camp (his father died of natural causes before terrorism and wars nearly destroyed their homeland). “Being in Israel has been a special experience because you can visit Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem and learn the history of Israel pre- and post-State with its complicated history for Jews and Judaism. For Muslims, Christians, Muslim and Christian states, and many Jews, too, the history is controversial for many reasons beyond the scope of this profile. And, though I embrace many cultures, traditions, and lifestyles of Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and secular Israelis, my respect for and appreciation of Sudan have increased. The Israeli government’s harsh policies, speech, and laws against asylum seekers and refugees that express disrespect, disregard, and abuse taught me that despite my country’s problems it’s my homeland and I love it.”
After experiencing many years’ hardships living in Israel, Ali managed with African Student Organization in Israel (ASO) help to secure a partial scholarship and subsistence expenses to earn an LLM degree in Human Rights and International Law from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in 2019. An ASO member, Ali studied for “the intrinsic value of education that Eisa Omer had taught me many years earlier and the importance of justice in human life.” He plans to volunteer “in my local community as a lawyer raising awareness about the potential for building a democratic state in Sudan and advocating for human rights. In workshops, I will train my community to bring these values and lessons home to Sudan while I continue developing more strategies for future trainings.”
“Your past mistakes are meant to guide you up, not tear you down.” 
— Ali A. Adam

Success Story: Precious Udoh

Success Story: Precious Udoh

Twenty-three-year-old native-born Israeli Precious Udoh is an ASO staff member and its Chief Marketing Officer. At Tel Aviv University, she is in her final year as a Digital Society Studies major. She finds the program “interesting and enriching because it combines theoretical and practical aspects of communication and sociology studies.”

At age six, her parents returned for a year to Akwa Ibom, Nigeria, with her and an infant sister. When her parents had returned to Israel with her sister, Precious stayed in Nigeria and moved in with her aunts and grandparents. At age ten, “I started visiting my family in Israel and at age 13 I decided to stay with them.”

“I graduated from Bialik Rogozin High School in Tel Aviv with top grades so when I failed my first year at the university as a biology major, I was humbled and switched to my current major. I had thought everything was easily achieved as in high school, but to succeed, I learned to be intentional about goals and work hard even when feeling self-doubt. So, I try to learn from every experience whether good or bad.” ‘We grow through what we go through’ (source unknown).” Though my teachers, parents, and peers never pressured me to earn a college degree, I felt obliged to take this path, which proved to be one of the best things I have done so far.

American singer-songwriter Beyonce Carter Knowles is a mentor and inspiration to Precious “because she is hardworking and focuses on her career and family goals and on achieving them. I also want to succeed in my career and in my social and family life.”

In the last year, Precious has “been passionate about creating quality relationships with friends and family, emotional fulfillment by doing something powerful, expanding my world view, and being more open-minded and accepting of differences.” Self-growth and self-improvement are critical to Precious who “loves to talk about how we can be better people and do more for ourselves, our friends, our families, and society. Once I graduate, I aim to find a job where I can apply what I have learned and that offers emotional and financial fulfillment.”

Success Story: Moise Roussel

ASO’s student Roussel Moïse, from Sion, born in Cameroon, arrived in Israel in 2019 and is currently based in Beer Sheva. He was studying Animal Science and left his home in Africa, “seeking new life experiences and knowledge.” Roussel describes the most challenging differences in Israel from Africa as the language barrier, Shabbat days, and Israeli people questioning him constantly and asking why he chose to come to Israel.
Roussel studied molecular biology and genetics at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev and just graduated with a master’s degree in science, but he is preparing for a doctorate. He currently applies his studies in his life by doing an internship in a poultry farm, where he studies chickens’ production and growth.
Roussel appreciates ASO and sees the organization as a “great source of motivation, inspiration, and financial support.” He enjoys being a part of ASO and is impressed by “seeing other youths his age, like him, being able to establish and rule such an organization, despite all the marginalization and challenges.” He articulates how ASO has helped him in his field, giving him a lot of “technical counseling.” For others in circumstances similar to his, Roussel advises them to “never give up” by emphasizing how hard work pays off.

Tesfazghi Tekle Asgedom

ASO is saying goodbye to it student and former board member Tesfazgi Tekle Asgedom.
Read below the piece of words from Tesfazgi to his community.
“We should be united as Africans and not allow anyone to divide us,” says Eritrean native Tesfazgi Tekle Asgedom, age 38, to ASO and its members. Further, “We must focus on youth whether they came to Israel as teenagers or were born here. And, motivate them to join the journey to higher education.”
The graduate from two secondary schools, Dekemhare and Warsay-Yikealo, Tesfazgi speaks Tigrigna, English, Hebrew, and Amharic. Among his most precious childhood memories is playing traditional games with teenage friends.
In 2012, Tesfazgi arrived in Israel at age 27 where he has been working with his community leadership and volunteering at the Eritrean Women’s Community Center in Tel Aviv while studying at Reichman University (formerly IDC/Herzliya) where he earned a BA degree in Economics and Business Administration.
Tesfazgi chose to earn a college degree, “to increase my awareness that can help me in decision making and improving myself and others.” He credits ASO (he was a Board member till now) with financial and moral support in helping him focus on his studies and where he met fellow Africans with shared ideas and common goals.
Tesfazgi is passionate about commitment and dedication to tasks; social justice and civil rights; and family. So it’s no surprise that his father is his greatest hero. Others whom Tesfazgi admires as leaders and mentors include Nelson Mandela “who saw beyond the freedom of his people to the unity of his country. His forgiveness and humility are lessons for me and many others.”
Tesfazgi enjoys discussing politics, economics, justice, and law, and his ingredients for personal and group success are, “Never give up, hope, plan, and dedication.” Also: “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” “Think globally, act locally,” and “Think big, start small.”
With a visa to begin a new chapter in his life, in Toronto, Canada, plans include doing an MA as conditions in his new home allow, doing an internship, finding a part-time job, and focusing on his passions. Staying in touch with ASO is a priority —participating in meetings, contacting staff and members, and representing and serving ASO from abroad.”
ASO wishes Tesfazgi the best as he embarks on this new journey.


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Annual Review

Welcome to the annual review newsletter of the African Students Organization (ASO). Over the last year, we introduced new academic projects, expanded our student enrollment and proudly congratulated our ten students on successful completion of their academic programs.
We look forward to an even better year in 2019 and appreciate your continued support!

Congratulations to our 2018 graduates
We shared in the accomplishment of our four students who received their bachelor’s degrees and one who received his master’s degree from IDC Herzliya as well as a sixth student who received his Bachelor degree from the College of Law and Business in Ramat Gan.

Graduate Students

Two New Vocational Programs
Two new vocational training programs were added in 2018, a professional culinary course and a truck driving certification program. Both of these courses were introduced in order to expand career-enhancing opportunities for individuals who preferred to take a vocational route. Furthermore, the opportunity to fill critical jobs in the Israeli labor industry with our community members demonstrates the great value that the asylum-seeking community has on Israel, when given the chance.

Additionally, we are thrilled that four more students graduated from a new program started this year, a culinary course at Danon Cooking School.

New Students Academic Year 2018 – 2021
We have enrolled eleven new students into Universities in Israel, representing a 20% growth in our organizations capacity. This cohort is enrolled in four different disciplines in several academic institutions throughout Israel.

English Preparatory class
2018 saw the continuation of our English Preparatory class, structured to improve language proficiency and to prepare our students for their University entrance exams.

New Students

Taj Haroun form Darfur, Sudan

Taj Haroun is from Darfur, Sudan. He fled Darfur because of genocide and systematic persecution, and he arrived in Israel in 2008 searching for freedom and a place to call home. Taj was involved in activism to promote a better understanding about African refugees and asylum seekers in Israel
After 3 years of his stay in Israel he applied to study Government, Diplomacy and Strategy at IDC Herzliya. Going to a prestigious school such as IDC was not easy thing for an asylum seeker. Luckily, Taj met with Joey Low who supports African students pursuing higher education in Israel. With Joey’s support and Taj’s hard work, Taj successfully graduated from IDC Herzliya and did his MA in Tel-Aviv University.

Taj and a few others founded The African Students Organization in Israel -ASOI. It is an organization that supports refugees and asylum seekers in achieving their academic aspirations . Taj was unanimously chosen to be the CEO of our organization. He was chosen because of his leadership, diligence and wisdom. Taj is a great leader who maintains friendly and professional relationship with all the members of the organization.

On March 18th, 2019, Taj left Israel for Canada to pursue a better life. In his send-off party he said : “You are my family”. Taj created a family in ASO. He paved the way for many Africans to pursue higher education. He believed that even with difficulties, if we have each other we can overcome all. We thank him for his enormous contribution in our lives and wish him luck in his new journey.