Finding Refuge on the Stage – Mariela Shaker is an accomplished Syrian violinist and award winning refugee advocate who survived the war in Syria and the University of Aleppo attack in January 2013. During her time at the university, she was the youngest violin teacher at the Arabic Institute of Music, where she risked death every day commuting between home and the Institute to create beauty through her violin and inspire children to pursue their dreams. Having received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, she fled to the United States to further study music with a full scholarship to Monmouth College. Unable to return home, Mariela was granted refugee status in the US. She was named a “Champion of Change” by President Barack Obama and appointed a UNHCR High Profile Supporter in 2015.