2022 Student Peace Award


Peace Award Winners gathered to celebrate and be recognized in Fairfax City this March

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Senior Tariq Aldalou was one of 24 recipients of a 2022 Student Peace Award of Fairfax County honored at a reception on March 13. Tariq has been a student at Mountain View High School since April 2021 when he arrived in the US from Lebanon. Tariq and his family originally lived in Syria but were displaced inside Syria by war and chose to leave the country. They then lived in Lebanon for three years as they collected the documents needed to emigrate to the US.

While in Lebanon, he worked as a volunteer teacher and administrator for LOYAC, a nonprofit organization that designs and develops programs which help support underprivileged and vulnerable communities. LOYAC was founded in Kuwait after 9/11 and now has chapters in Lebanon, Yemen, and Jordan. Its primary mission is to facilitate the professional development and personal growth of peace embracing youth.

When Tariq started working for LOYAC, he packed and delivered food boxes to people living in refugee camps. After 2 months, he started teaching math to young students. This led to additional classes teaching Arabic and English, not just to children but also to their parents. At this time, the region was experiencing political instability that led to many road closures.  Teachers and supplies had difficulty entering the refugee camp. In response to the shortage of adult teachers, Tariq took on more responsibilities, developing curricula for varying age groups.

He also worked with adults to help develop their business skills. Doha Faraj, LOYAC Projects Manager, writes, “He has a high aptitude for education and is involved in his work, applying himself with persistent dedication and often going beyond the regular volunteer’s assignments.  Tariq always demonstrated a high level of professionalism, enthusiasm, and motivation while working.”

At Mountain View, Tariq voices his concerns for human rights by publishing in the school newspaper, The Mirror.  Topics he has written about include water scarcity, education for all, and terrorism around the world. Social Studies teacher, Mike Hardy writes, “Tariq has been a shining light of hope and optimism at Mountain View High School. He is a human rights activist because he has lived on the margins of human rights his entire life. Tariq is committed to maintaining a strong advocacy for the marginalized wherever they may be.”


With gratitude for the honor and encouragement to continue to shine his light wherever he may be; Tariq Aldalou writes the following;

March 13th, 2022 was one of the greatest days in my life. I achieved the Fairfax peace award. Many people were factors to make me get this award, however without Mr.Hardy, my U.S government teacher, I will not be able to get it. I’ve never heard about it and I did not imagine that my story would make me win this honor. 

 I realized in Government class that the unique and varied stories I went through can be more than just stories. Those stories have value. I’m writing this letter to thank all the people who helped me to achieve this important moment in my life, and being thankful is not enough for all your effort.

 I can’t complete this letter without thanking Doha Faraj, who showed me that there is hope everywhere and every time by giving it to me. Her standing with me, until this moment, I can’t and I will not forget it till the rest of my life. All the people who are in the camp, that our communication became as  essential and families not just for volunteering, were the main purpose. They gave me all respect, even more than a teenager, and they considered me a friend and leader at the same time.

 All love for them and hope to live a better, equal life. This honor will make a positive impact in my entire life and I have to be grateful for Lisa Hayes, Margaret Fisher, who connected with me and provided all the information.