ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — High school student Ludella Awad was born in America but she straddles two worlds.
The daughter of Syrian immigrants, her family’s background has given her an insight and dimension most don’t typically gain until adulthood. Although her parents left the country long before civil war tore it apart, her extended family is still there and has endured the hardships of war. Her uncle’s home was bombed and destroyed four years ago. He has yet to receive compensation.
Before the conflict began, Awad, who speaks both English and Arabic fluently, would visit the country annually. She’s now turned the plight of her family and others in the country into a published book of poetry called “Sad Piano Music in Syria.”
Her former English teacher, Orlando Vigil, met Awad two years ago when she was a sophomore at Albuquerque School of Excellence. Vigil said Awad, now 16, approached him after class one day and presented him with a binder of poetry and asked him to help her get it published. Impressed by her poetry, he agreed and drew up a contract agreeing to mentor her.