WATCH: Philly Tech CEO Yasmine Mustafa on Coming to America

Mustafa shares what it was like to flee a war and become an entrepreneur.

Yasmine Mustafa delivers a TedXPhiladelphia talk in 2015.

Yasmine Mustafa delivers a TedxPhiladelphia talk in 2015.

With President Trump’s executive order to limit travel for refugees and migrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries, the time couldn’t be more right to rewatch, or be blown away for the first time, by Yasmine Mustafa’s TEDxPhiladelphia talk about the birth lottery and her grueling path to entrepreneurship and U.S. citizenship.

Today, Mustafa is one of Philadelphia’s most renowned entrepreneurs. She’s co-founder and CEO of ROAR for Good, a company that makes wearable technology aimed at diminishing attacks against women. She also started Philadelphia’s chapter of Girl Develop It to help more women learn how to code, and was recently named to the BBC’s 100 Women 2016 list, which highlights the world’s influential women.

Mustafa’s family was caught in the middle of the first Gulf War when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, where she lived with her family. A series of fluky events led Mustafa and her family to end up in Philadelphia, where she’s been ever since.

“What would my life have been like if we didn’t come here?” Mustafa questions in the talk. We can’t change our “birth ticket,” she says, the circumstances we’re born into, but the ticket doesn’t define what we must become. This ethos is what led Mustafa to become an entrepreneur. To learn more about this tech leader’s path, watch her TedxPhiladelphia talk below.

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