Ahmed Badr

  • Position: Poet and Activist
  • Organisation: UN SDG Young Leader
  • Country: Iraq

Ahmed is a writer, social entrepreneur, poet, and former Iraqi refugee working to combine poetry, archival collections, and multi-media to explore the complexities of migration, identity, and self-expression, with a focus on reframing and reclaiming the power of tragedy.


On July 25th, 2006, Ahmed's home in Baghdad was bombed by militia troops. He and his family relocated to Syria as refugees for two and a half years before receiving approval to move to the United States. Ahmed founded Narratio, a platform for youth empowerment through creative expression. Narratio publishes works of art from all over the globe, and hosts workshops centered around the power of storytelling and creativity. In the summer of 2019, Narratio launched a storytelling Fellowship for resettled refugee youth in partnership with Syracuse University and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In the last three years, Ahmed’s storytelling initiatives have reached over 20 million people across the world.


Together with the Syrian artist and architect Mohamad Hafez, Ahmed co-created UNPACKED: Refugee Baggage, a multi-media installation that remodels the homes of refugees inside a series of suitcases in an effort to humanize and give voice to a demographic that is often viewed in the abstract. UNPACKED has been exhibited at UNICEF House, Harvard University, Yale University, Juilliard, Iowa State University, University of Chicago, Mississippi State University, and World Bank headquarters.


Ahmed's work also includes Intertwined Journeys ( Metropolitan Museum of Art), Sun (a poetic tribute to Aylan Kurdi, the young boy who washed up on the shores of Turkey in 2015), Letter From the Bomb that Visited My Home, Voices for the Future (United Nations and Greta Thunberg), and Chicken Shawarma (Ben Stiller, UNHCR, and BuzzFeed Tasty). Ahmed's work has been recognized by multiple United Nations entities (IOM, UNHCR, UNICEF, Youth Envoy), NPR, Instagram, World Bank, Global Citizen, and others.


Ahmed is currently working on his debut book which focuses on the creative expression of refugee youth across the world, to be published by Andrews McMeel in mid 2020. Ahmed serves as one of 17 UN Young Leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals in the Office of the UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth.