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PUBLIC SPEAKER

Prison made me who I am today

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OMAR ALSHOGRE

lived for three years as a political prisoner in one of the world's most dangerous prisons and was taken to his execution on June 11, 2015 and was registered dead.

But despite this, he was instead smuggled out of prison by a corrupt officer and fled to Sweden, where his success began. From working at BCG to giving well over a hundred lectures to, among others, LinkedIn, US Senate & Congress, Princeton & Brown University. He has also conducted two TEDx talks about the lessons of his brutal history.

One of his most important tasks has been to testify before the world, not only about the cruelty of the Syrian war but to be the voice for the voiceless political prisoners who still live with this brutality. Omar therefore also works as Director of Detainees affairs at the Syrian Emergency Task Force. Today, they are in the process of implementing a world-changing law "Caesar act" in the United States to stop the Syrian misery.

From the fact that he has been in one of the world's most dangerous prisons with daily torture and a constant threat to the fact that today he works with, among other things. talks on the world-renowned TV channels such as CNN, etc. In addition, he was awarded the Swedish Royal Prize "Value-based leadership" for his courage and drive.

Keynotes

University of whispers

My time in the cramped cells was endless. But my fellow-prisoners and I could whisper. In silence, we began to teach each other.

Doctors shared knowledge on how to take care of your wounds. Psychologists told how to be happy during the torture. Lawyers described legislature. Someone knew smatterings of English. We formed a secret and highly dangerous information and knowledge sharing community we called “University of Whispers”.

Trauma as a driving force

I have had sleepless nights, haunted by unthinkable nightmares.

I have knowledge one does not wish to own, experiences I wish to disavow.

But surviving is possible. Viewing survival as a challenge, something that must be done; focusing on the brighter parts of life - it works. This I have learned by now!

I am in love, I will have children, I will live a happy life, I will go on. In spite of everything.

Leadership in crisis

Fear spreads in the room, smells musty and in the dark lies my best friend - dead.
In prison, everything was about life or death, so every decision must be weighed. You only have one chance and if the wrong decision is made, either you or someone nearby will suffer to a great extent, you won't be rewarded for the good but you will be punished for every mistake.
In various crisis situations, whether in the case of epidemics such as COVID19, prisons or severe economic cuts, role models are needed. A strong leader who demonstrates humanitarian leadership not based on economic and political powers. Leaders who dare to make difficult decisions, prove security and have the power to act.

The future, however, looks bright.

US Holocaust Museum