Mariela Shaker is an accomplished violinist who survived the conflict in Syria and sought asylum in the US in 2013. She realized while completing a music scholarship at Monmouth College that she would not be able to return to her home country due to the ongoing conflict.
Mariela then decided to dedicate herself to using her unique voice as a talented musician and refugee to build bridges through music and raise awareness of the plight of the Syrian people. She has been supporting the work of UNHCR since 2015, performing at a recital at the Kennedy Centre in celebration of World Refugee Day and private fundraising events for UNHCR.
Mariela has also spoken and performed to highlight the refugee cause at various prestigious events and institutions including Lincoln Centre, Harvard University and Carnegie Hall. Mariela was also honored at the White House and named as Champion of Change for World Refugees by US President Barack Obama in 2015. Despite the challenges she has faced, Mariela remains convinced of the power of music to forge peace and continues her mission to deliver a message of hope and understanding through her work.