Hana Abdulla is Kuwaiti Colombian born in Miami. She grew up in Kuwait, survived the Gulf War by escaping through the desert into Saudi Arabia. Her family came to Miami only to then be hit by Hurricane Andrew. The family had to go back to Kuwait where Hana experienced a lot of difficulties caused by war trauma, bullying and abuse. In 2003 her family decided to take another chance and came back to Miami. But being Arab in a post 9/11 America created even more difficulties for the family.
Living in Miami Hana discovered community service and the healing power of giving back. She volunteered for different organizations and discovered that her personal experiences of struggle often presented answers for young kids trapped in a similar situation.
Hana started engaging with the community more by speaking at treatment centers, juvenile centers, foster homes, private mentorship, feeding the homeless, doing donation drives for different causes and other random events. At the same time, she created Embracingugly.com to share her experiences and empower people.
Since I started my healing process and getting involved in service in Miami it was only right that I continued to do my work here. Miami is a beautifully diverse city but it is also extremely dangerous and fast paced and can swallow people. I have been involved in the entertainment industry for a few years and I have seen many sides of the core issues in Miami. We have crime, violence, poverty, government corruption, sex trafficking, immigration, addiction and so much more. I have seen money being signed off but never reaching the people. I have seen young girls being pimped to get their nails paid for. I have seen children suffer from the addiction of their parents. I have met children who were pimped by their parents for drugs. I have seen young adolescents breaking into homes to come up in hopes of buying the hot shoes of the moment. I have seen women working the fields in Homestead illegally with no rights to prenatal care giving birth to children missing limbs. I have seen young boys sexually assaulting their peers because they truly think that is normal. I have seen treatment centers covering up their messes even if its at the expense of their clients who trusted them to help them. I have seen people without addiction problems end up homeless while still having a job and just trying to make it. I have seen so much in the time I have lived here. And I feel I am obligated to give back and to do what I can to help as much as I can.
Raising awareness about the most difficult issues Miami’s communities face.
My approach to everything that I do is to educate people. I feel that we empower people to make their own decisions when we educate them. I educate people on consent, addiction, the effects of drugs, the effects of trauma on the brain, family roles, family dysfunction, patterns we play out in our lives, how we are effected by the things we don’t deal with and a lot of other issues. I have worked with people on self-esteem, setting boundaries, figuring out new coping skills and many other things. I feel that there is no cookie cutter solution for everyone and that being able to work with people on a personal level allows me to see what would work for them.