Nafeesa Syeed is a writer and editor from Washington. She writes and edits for daily print and broadcast news, long-form articles and research/book projects, as well as contributes photos and field produces for documentary films. From South Asia to North Africa, she has worked as a writer and multimedia producer—writing feature stories, shooting interviews for a film project, editing at a narrative journalism magazine, taking photos for slideshows and producing investigative documentary films. She is co-author of Arab Women Rising: 35 Entrepreneurs Making a Difference.

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In a school art room, 20-year-old Mostafa slips on an apron over his gray sweater. He touches the canvas spread across a table. “Mostafa, want to paint here?” asks his teacher, pointing to the design stencilled on the canvas. She offers green paint; wordlessly, he accepts. Mostafa then glides his brush across the white surface. …

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