Consider the benefits of joining IHP’s Alumni network and how it will contribute to your own success! It is a gateway to a professional network of fellow alumni who will serve as collaborators, mentors, clients, and even potential employers and employees. IHP's Alumni network connects you with a host of exciting opportunities and resources, including involvement in International House Philadelphia's global community.
For more information contact:
Shekeya Watkins, Manager of Alumni Relations: firstname.lastname@example.org
My name is Bassam Sinno and I currently live in Beirut, Lebanon. My experience at International House began in 1987, when I was accepted at Drexel University. My first impression was the rooms were not as large as I had hoped, but I quickly realized that the main reason for this was to get residents to share common areas in order to interact with each other, ultimately becoming one big family, as well as gaining ethnic diversity. Also, I was very proud to see my country’s flag hanging with the other flags – it gave me hope for my country at a time that it was facing civil war. As days passed by, I become friendly with the staff at IHP, who helped me get a part-time job, for which I was grateful.
There were many events that I enjoyed, including the three-day International Book Festival that International House held, where books by international authors were read. I was proud to help make that event possible. I was also part of a team of organizers who helped put together big events such as Lady Smith Black Mambazo, and the International House Food Festival. When I graduated from university, it was not easy for me to leave International House, but of course, I had to move on with my life. I felt like I was losing the place that helped me make so many of my best memories.
I returned to Beirut, Lebanon in 1992, and now have a successful catering company, as well as a cheese factory. Recently, I connected to the IHP Alumni page on Facebook, and was so happy to find a few of my old friends. Thank you International House for being part of my life.
While at I House, I started work at an incredible organization called YouthBuild Philadelphia.I am proud to say that I am now the Director, and still love what I get to do every day. YouthBuild is an alternative school for young people who are between 18 and 21 and have previously dropped out of high school. The curriculum culminates in both a high school diploma and an industry-recognized certification in a high demand occupation. All our incredible students spend half of their time developing academic skills through individualized classroom instruction, and the other half of their time on a vocational worksite developing job skills through large-scale community service initiatives in construction, healthcare or information technology training.
I think the other thing I learned at IHouse was the idea of really connecting to the community around you—wherever that is. I am passionate about Philadelphia and about living a connected life and am embedded in this community in a way that makes me very very happy. I live in the City with a man I adore (Ravi Acharya) and our two kids, Iman and Vir, who we both adore.