Skip to content

A Conversation with Andrew Leon Hanna, Author of 25 Million Sparks: The Untold Story of Refugee Entrepreneurs


Andrew Leon Hanna

Andrew Leon Hanna ('14) returns to Duke University to discuss his award-winning work, 25 Million Sparks: The Untold Story of Refugee Entrepreneurs, which will be released by Cambridge University Press on May 26th (now available for pre-order). 25 Million Sparks takes readers inside the Za'atari refugee camp to follow the stories of three inspiring women entrepreneurs: a wedding dress shop and salon owner named Yasmina, an artist named Malak, and a storyteller and teacher named Asma. Anchored by these stories, the narrative expands beyond Za'atari to explore the broader refugee entrepreneurship phenomenon in more than twenty camps and cities across the globe. In its proposal form, 25 Million Sparks won the 2018 Financial Times and McKinsey Bracken Bower Prize in London. In this discussion, Andrew will share about the book itself and the process of writing; refugee entrepreneurship, economic opportunity, and human rights; how to get started in writing as a student; and any additional topics of interest from the audience. Andrew will be joined in conversation with Giovanni Zanalda, director of the Duke University Center for International and Global Studies. Bio: Andrew Leon Hanna is a first-generation Egyptian American lawyer, entrepreneur, and author born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. He is co-founder and CEO of DreamxAmerica, a Knight-Hennessy Scholar and Siebel Scholar at Stanford Graduate School of Business, and winner of the Financial Times and McKinsey Bracken Bower Prize. Hanna has been named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list and graduated with honors from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. At Duke, where he graduated with highest distinction in public policy, he was Senior Class President, a Robertson Scholar, and winner of the Terry Sanford Leadership Award. Register here: This event is organized by the Duke University Center for International and Global Studies and co-sponsored by the Sanford School of Public Policy. If you need a disability-related accommodation, please contact by 2/17/2022.


Entrepreneurship, Featured, Global, Human Rights, Lecture/Talk