Samer, a Palestinian student at Illinois College, USA, was originally from Jenin, Palestine and came to America as part of the Hope Fund Scholarship. An outstanding student leader on his campus Samer has received national recognition for his achievements including most recently, the Newman Civic Fellows Leadership Award. He founded the first chapter of Amnesty International at Illinois College, and before he came to America, he worked with well known dialog groups such as the Family Circle that brings both Israeli and Palestinian families together to share their grief. His own experience of growing up, facing daily checkpoints and violence has shaped his own quest for a solution. He has been very inspired by the story of Martin Luther King Jnr. and traveled in the South to retrace the history of the Civil Rights movement and in the height of the Gaza Conflict of 2008, organized candlelight peace vigils among the students. He has international experience in Italy and Austria and France, and he sees himself preparing to be one of a new generation of leaders who will finally achieve a just end to the conflict. He intends to go to graduate school and specialize in peace studies.
Over the summer of 2011, Samer shared his work experience alongside Israeli classmate, Rotem Gabay, at the office of Congressman Jarad Polis (D-Colorado)