February 27, 2017

Senator Warren Announces Tiba Faraj as Guest at Joint Session of Congress

Washington, D.C. - United States Senator Elizabeth Warren today announced that Tiba Faraj will accompany her to President Trump's address to the joint session of Congress on February 28, 2017. Faraj, an Iraqi refugee, arrived in Lynn, Mass., in 2010 along with her parents and siblings. After a tumultuous journey spanning seven years and thousands of miles, Faraj became an American citizen last year.

"Like many before her, Tiba came to America seeking a better life. Since arriving in Massachusetts, she has become a valued member of her community, through her commitment to volunteer work and academic excellence," said Senator Warren. "Tiba's courage, resilience and optimism embody the very best of the American spirit. Our strength as a country is rooted in our diversity, and Tiba's many contributions have made us that much stronger."

Faraj's journey to the United States began in 2006, after her father was shot and left permanently disabled while working for an American backed development organization in Iraq. The Faraj family later fled to Jordan, where they began the lengthy process of applying for refugee status. After extensive screening, they were granted admission to the United States in 2010 and settled in the Commonwealth. The Faraj family currently resides in Boston, Mass.

In the years since, Faraj has endeavored to give back to the community that welcomed her and her family through a variety of volunteer activities, in addition to an internship with State Representative Brendan Crighton. "It is fair to say that I learned more from Tiba than she did from me during her time with my office," said Representative Crighton. "Tiba truly represents who we are as a nation and we are so proud to have her join Senator Warren for this speech before Congress."

After graduating from Lynn Classical in 2014, Faraj was accepted at UMass Dartmouth, where she is now a junior majoring in accounting with a minor in international relations. "We are so proud of Tiba for pursuing her own American dream while overcoming the challenges she and her family have faced," UMass Dartmouth interim Chancellor Peyton R. Helm said. "Her success is an inspirational testament to her own perseverance and to the enduring values of our university, Commonwealth, and our country."