Coach Luma Mufleh’s program at Towson

November 5, 2010 at 9:49 am Leave a comment

On October 19, 2010, Coach Luma Mufleh inspired a Towson audience at the University Union with stories of her childhood and work with the refugee boys soccer team, as told in Outcasts United: An American Town, A Refugee Team and One Woman’s Quest to Make a Difference.

Author Luma Mufleh with Towson student Sandrine Emambu. Sandrine introduced the soccer coach at the program.

Raised in a wealthy family in Jordan, Luma was influenced by her compassionate grandmother, her hard-working father, and tough high school coach. The coach helped develop Luma’s leadership ability and love of sports.  Luma attended college in the United States and decided not to return to Jordan after graduating from Smith College. Cut off from her family, she did menial jobs and lived in different cities until she chanced upon a group of refugee boys playing soccer in an apartment parking lot in Clarkston, Georgia.  Their joy in the game reminded her of playing sports at home, and Luma gradually became more involved with the boys and their families.  She was first the coach of the team that became known as the Fugees, but also a tutor and advocate for them and their families. As the Fugees’ coach and mentor, Luma found what she wanted to do with her life.  While it’s a tough commitment, she finds much fulfillment in helping the boys develop their skill in soccer, work as a team, adjust to life in America and take advantage of its opportunities.

About 250 students, faculty, staff, and visitors from as far as the Eastern Shore came to hear Luma’s presentation. After the presentation, she responded to questions with humor and anecdotes.  Most attendees stayed afterwards to meet Luma and get her autograph.  All seemed inspired by Luma’s dedication and integrity.

This program with Luma Mufleh was sponsored by Cook Library, the Center for Diversity, the Division of Student Affairs, the College of Liberal Arts, and the Honors College.  Outcasts United was selected for the 2010 One Maryland/One Book statewide reading program.  The Library partnered with the Maryland Humanities Council to promote the book at Towson University where library book clubs, the Honors College and several classes read and discussed the book.

If you missed the program and would like more information about it, please contact Patty MacDonald (pmacdonald@towson.edu).

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