In 2015, Maya Ghazal fled Damascus leaving behind her home, her plans and dreams. With determination, hope and resilience she started a new life in the UK and is currently studying Aviation Engineering at Brunel University in London. Maya now dreams of becoming the first female Syrian refugee pilot.
A recipient of the Princess Diana Legacy Award, Maya is a prominent advocate for refugee rights and has been supporting UNHCR since 2017. Maya consistently uses her voice to try and dispel the negative rhetoric around the word “refugee”.
Maya has spoken at events across the world including a UNHCR reception at the Palace of Westminster, the global Social Forum on Education, the WE Day youth empowerment forum, and was a Co-Sponsor of the Education session at the first ever Global Refugee Forum in 2019.
In 2019 Maya gave a powerfully inspiring speech at TEDxPalaisDesNationsWomen in which she smashed stereotypes and offered five solutions to better understanding refugees and why we should invest in their limitless potential.
Maya has also undertaken extensive media interviews, written articles and been involved in various social media campaigns and activities. For World Refugee Day 2019, Maya cooked up a storm with fellow UNHCR supporter Stanley Tucci for Buzzfeed's 'Proper Tasty'.