Clarksville, TN – One afternoon in 2002, Luma Mufleh made a simple wrong turn that ended up changing her life and the lives of an entire refugee community outside of Atlanta.
She was on an unfamiliar street in the town of Clarkston, GA, looking to do a little grocery shopping, when she happened to spot a pickup soccer game in a parking lot. The young players, from war-torn countries like Sudan and Afghanistan, reminded Mufleh of her own childhood playing soccer in Jordan.“I stayed there for over an hour,” she told journalist Warren St. John. “They were barefoot, but they were having such a good time.”
Mufleh decided she needed to coach those young athletes, and using borrowed, second-hand equipment, she founded the Fugees soccer team. This fall, Austin Peay State University freshmen are reading St. John’s bestselling book “Outcasts United” as part of the University’s annual Peay Read, which features Mufleh and her inspirational story.
At 7:00pm on October 9th, Mufleh, will visit the APSU Dunn Center to share more of her story as the event’s keynote speaker. The talk is free and open to the public.
The Peay Read is designed to provide a unifying experience and contribute to the academic experiences for freshman students. However, the reading program also offers opportunities for the entire campus community.
Leading up to Mufleh’s visit, APSU freshmen will participate in a variety of activities related to the book, compose essays and develop creative interpretations of the work.
The University also will be supporting World Relief Nashville through a school supply drive to benefit refugee children heading to school this fall. A collection bin will be placed in the Dunn Center the night of the Peay Read event for students and the public to donate school supplies.
Mufleh’s story has been featured in Sports Illustrated, the New York Times and in a documentary by Tom Brokaw. She is currently working to develop a Fugees Academy – a college preparatory high school for refugee boys and girls. She also is a social entrepreneur, creating several businesses to employ refugees and immigrants.
For more details about this year’s book reading selection or The Peay Read, visit www.apsu.edu/Read or visit Peay Read on Facebook.
For more information about Mufleh’s upcoming talk, contact Dr. Sherryl Byrd, chair of The Peay Read committee, at firstname.lastname@example.org.