Bessan Ismail was born in Mosul, Iraq, to Assyrian parents on December 19, 1980. He was forced to flee Iraq with his family in the mid-90s due to the oppression of Christians by the government under Saddam Hussein’s rule and the threat of persecution as well as death if they remained there. When Bessan reached middle school age, he lived with his family in refugee camps for 4 years before immigrating to America at the age of 14. Bessan Ismail: From Iraq to the United States

Bessan Ismail: From Iraq to the United States
Bessan Ismail: From Iraq to the United States

Young Life

Bessan Ismail was born in Baghdad, Iraq in 2003. Her parents were forced to flee the country when Saddam Hussein’s regime began persecuting members of their Shia Muslim sect. The family spent several years as refugees in Syria before being granted asylum in the United States in 2010. Bessan and her family have faced many challenges since coming to America, but she has worked hard to adjust and thrive. She is now a sophomore at George Washington University, where she is studying political science and human rights. As a member of GWU’s Student Alliance for International Relations (SAIR), she has traveled to South Africa, Jordan, Uganda and India to learn about global issues that affect people across the world. Bessan Ismail: From Iraq to the United States

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The World Discovers Bessan

In 2006, a young woman named Bessan Ismail made headlines around the world when she was forced to flee her home in Iraq. Her story captured the hearts of people everywhere, and she quickly became an international symbol of hope. Today, Bessan is a successful businesswoman and philanthropist, living in the United States. She is proof that with hard work and determination, anything is possible. A true American success story.

In 2010, Bessan founded Soul Steps Foundation – a non-profit organization committed to improving the lives of women and children in conflict zones through education and mentoring programs as well as providing access to critical resources like food, clean water, medical care, shelter, legal support, microfinance opportunities and vocational training.

Bessan Ismail: From Iraq to the United States
Bessan Ismail: From Iraq to the United States

The Stage Show, Bello Bessie

Bessan Ismail was born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1980. When she was two, her family moved to the United States and settled in Los Angeles, California. Bessan began performing at a young age and by the time she was sixteen, she had starred in her first film, The Longest Yard. After graduating from high school, Bessan moved to New York City to pursue her dream of becoming an actress. She has since appeared in numerous stage productions, films, and television shows. In 2011, she landed a recurring role on ABC’s show Detroit 1-8-7. In 2012, Bessan opened up her own dance studio called Bellydance with Bessie that specializes in hip-hop bellydance. In 2013, she wrote and directed her first feature film entitled Finding Home.

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Political Activism

Bessan Ismail was born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1974. When she was just a teenager, she joined the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK), an Iranian opposition group. She quickly rose through the ranks, and became one of the group’s most vocal leaders. In 1997, she was forced to flee Iran after the MEK was declared a terrorist organization. She eventually made her way to the United States, where she continued her activism. After meeting Jason Della Rocca, head of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) at GDC 2006, she organized a panel on violence against women in video games. The following year, she organized another panel called Women Reclaiming Tech.

Breaking the Rules of Beauty Pageants

Bessan Ismail was born in Baghdad, Iraq, but she and her family fled the country when she was just a child. They eventually settled in the United States, where Bessan would go on to break the rules of beauty pageants. In 2017, she became the first contestant in the Miss USA pageant to wear a hijab and burkini during the swimsuit portion of the competition. As the daughter of Iraqi immigrants, Bessan had seen discrimination firsthand and wanted to challenge traditional notions of beauty. She explained that she wanted to show people that Muslim women can be confident and comfortable in their own skin. I want people watching at home who may never have interacted with Muslims or didn’t know anything about Islam other than what they see on TV, I want them to say ‘Oh wow! Muslims are amazing’ after seeing me.

Bessan Ismail: From Iraq to the United States
Bessan Ismail: From Iraq to the United States

Post-Miss Universe Career

After her reign as Miss Universe, Bessan Ismail has gone on to have a very successful career. She is currently a model and actress, and has also done some work as a television presenter. In addition to her work in the entertainment industry, Bessan is also a philanthropist and an advocate for women’s rights. She founded her own organization called Beauty with a Purpose which helps raise awareness about domestic violence and aids organizations that provide medical care for victims of abuse. She has been honored by organizations such as UNICEF and YWCA, among others.

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Bessan Ismail is a woman who has made quite a journey in her life. She was born in Iraq and raised in a small town near Baghdad. When she was just eighteen, she married and had her first child. Her husband was drafted into the army and sent to fight in the Iran-Iraq War, where he was killed. Bessan was left a widow with a young child to care for.

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