Study abroad during Arab Spring stirs his passion to defend democracy

Wednesday, June 10, 2020 - 09:00 in Psychology & Sociology

This is one in a series of profiles showcasing some of Harvard’s stellar graduates. Hainer Sibrian’s desire for a career as a U.S. diplomat was ignited while studying in Egypt during the Arab Spring, where he recognized the same democratic ambitions and thwarted dreams that had gripped the El Salvador his father fled in the 1980s. “A lot of what I understand about the world is shaped through the perspective of the Salvadoran Civil War and my father’s experience in it,” he said. Sibrian, M.P.P. ’20, described his parents’ early struggles in the United States. After arriving from El Salvador, his father was undocumented in Los Angeles, living in a car with his cousin. When Sibrian and his siblings were young, his mother, an immigrant from Mexico, cleaned offices and hotels in East L.A. Eventually, his father moved the family to the Atlanta suburbs so he could take a job installing hardwood floors, which...

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