My grandmother tells me the story of having to leave Palestine in a boat and going to Egypt. It was the 1940s. She thought it was only going to be for a few weeks, but they never went back to Palestine. My grandparents learned to make a home for themselves and for others in a different land, even when they did not have the monetary means. I grew up watching my grandparents, how they give unconditionally without expecting anything in return. I learned from them and wanted to do the same for others.
Helping Syrian refugees find home here has been my best giving experience. My family and I helped prepare houses for other families before their arrival. The most important part was to make them feel welcomed, to reassure them that things will turn out okay. We helped them to register kids in schools, got them supplies, furniture, home rental, helped them in finding jobs and getting cars. Fast forward three years: now we see them successful and their kids are thriving. To see them settled and happy is very fulfilling.
Philanthropy to us is not just money—it’s time, attention, resources. You can be a donor through your involvement. It’s okay to be uncomfortable every once in a while, to give a little too much that it hurts a little. Think about the difference and impact you are going to make. Philanthropy will change your life. Because it isn’t about you anymore, it’s about giving to others.
Growing up in the Middle East and immigrating to the United States as a teenager, Juman Doleh-Alomary is a proud Palestinian-Jordanian Arab American. While not her goal initially, Juman found herself in the IT field following an internship at Ford Motor Company. After multiple roles at Ford, she entered the cybersecurity world where she discovered her passion for ensuring the safety of companies and people. Since 2007, Mrs. Doleh-Alomary has been the IT Audit Director at Wayne State University.
Currently, she is the president of ISACA, a professional technology organization for auditors. She sees her involvement as both humbling and imperative because “there is a lack of representation of women in the fields of technology, especially Muslim women and women of color.” She is also a part of the “She Leads Tech” initiative with the Detroit chapter, which aims to enthuse women to pursue technology, specifically the field of cybersecurity, compliance and risk management.
Mrs. Doleh-Alomary has a strong drive to support women causes and women empowerment. She wants to ensure that women do not feel disadvantaged or experience doubt about their capabilities. Her passion for women empowerment led to her involvement in the Arab American Women Business Council (AAWBC) since its founding in 2007. She served as their president for two years. “What drew me to AAWBC is the large gap that hinders women. We need to work on women psyche, especially the Arab American women because there is so much asked of us.”