OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma City University freshmen will meet the subject of their first assignment when Luma Mufleh, who is featured in the national best-seller “Outcasts United,” visits campus Aug. 18.
Incoming freshmen read the Warren St. John book this summer as part of the OCUReads program, which unites students by giving them a common book to read and engages them on campus through discussions and events related to the material.
Mufleh is the founder of an inspirational soccer team called the Fugees – short for refugees – comprised of players from 18 war-torn countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, Congo, Somalia and Sudan. An immigrant from Jordan, Mufleh formed the team after noticing a group of boys playing soccer in the street. Without some of the most basic equipment, the boys played for the enjoyment of the game and it reminded Mufleh of her home.
She organized tryouts for a team and quickly realized the challenges of her team were going to be unique as the players were dealing with post-traumatic stress issues, language barriers, cultural disconnects and devastating poverty. Mufleh weaved together a community on and off the field, helping the players develop support networks for themselves and their families. She also helped found the Fugees Family, which helps child survivors of war realize their full potential and assists refugees with transitioning to life in the U.S.
Mufleh will speak at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 18 in the Petree Recital Hall inside OCU’s Kirkpatrick Fine Arts Center, located at N.W. 25th St. and Blackwelder Ave. The presentation is free to the public.