Home College: John Jay
Faculty Mentor: Prof. Cecile Van de Voorde, Law and Political Science, John Jay
B.A., January 2012, cum Laude
Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship
Model U.N. Distinguished Delegate Committee Award
Norhan Basuni is a student, activist, community organizer and a revolutionary. She was accepted to CUNY Baccalaureate for the fall 2010 semester with dual Areas of Concentration in “International Crime, Justice and Development” and “Conflict Resolution.” She has taken courses in criminal justice, journalism, international relations, political science and economics. Her interests also include studies of the Arabic language, Islam, Human Rights and Terrorism Studies. She plans on becoming an international civil servant working on conflict resolution and on empowering Muslim communities in the U.S. and outside.
Basuni is an interdisciplinary student living an interdisciplinary life. Outside the classroom, she works as a Research Assistant at the Center for International Human Rights at John Jay College. She is the Public Relations Officer for the Muslim American Society’s Community Outreach Department and is a Board Member of Brooklyn for Peace. Currently, she is also John Jay College’s University Student Senate Representative and Judicial Board Member.
In addition, Basuni is Benjamin Gilman Scholar and an AmeriCorps Alumna. During her AmeriCorps service, she was a Case Manager at the Arab American Association of New York focusing on community affairs and immigration cases. She was President of John Jay College’s National Model United Nations Team from 2009-2010 and Vice President from 2008-2009. Within the Model U.N., she served by nomination as a Chair of the Security Council in 2009 and in the Organization of the Islamic Conference in 2010. She was awarded the Distinguished Delegate Committee Award in the Economic and Social Council Committee is 2008. She also served as treasurer of the Amnesty International Student Association.
Basuni is a scholar-athlete who plays on the woman’s soccer team at John Jay College and is the 2011 Homecoming Queen. In spring 2011, Basuni helped launch the Presidential Innovative of Jeremy Travis, President of John Jay College, a series of events aimed at understanding Islam. She is also a well-known spoken word poet and has been invited to perform her original work at interfaith dialogue events and on campus.
Basuni describes her life mission as “to move people to strive for liberty, justice and religious tolerance.” In winter 2010, she went with Hunter College on a study abroad in Egypt and while there, extended her stay to visit family. When the protest began on January 25, 2011 she joined the demonstrations on the Tahrir Square and witnessed history unfolding. The youth revolted and were soon joined by all strata of Egyptian society. She was in the epicenter of the revolution talking to people on the Tahrir Square. She remembers solidarity and unity among her fellow Egyptians and how they expressed their desire for freedom and democracy.
From the classrooms of Hunter and John Jay to study abroad in Egypt, the wind of history took this CUNY Baccalaureate student on a journey of a lifetime. Her path is merging academic training, community activism and study abroad experience of unparallel proportions. Listening to Basuni’s presentation on Egypt at the CUNY Study Abroad Conference in March 2011, U.S. State Department Diplomat in Residence at CUNY, Tom Armbruster, remarked “I wish we could hire her right away, without any exams.”