By Diane Mastrull
The Philadelphia Inquirer.
It’s an ambitious undertaking, inspired more by empathy than earnings — an empathy for the mistreated, a topic this daughter of Palestinian parents knows about from personal experience.
At age 8, Mustafa was forced from her native Kuwait when Saddam Hussein’s troops invaded in 1990. She, her parents, and her five brothers and sisters had just two hours to pack for relocation to the United States. Her father owned a 7-Eleven store in Royersford until 2000.
A year later, the family encountered ethnic bias after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. “We were told to go back to our country,” Mustafa recalled. Tauntings were so bad for her brother Osama, he changed his name to Adam.
Last week, Mustafa became tearful when she described how it felt to not belong anywhere as a Middle Eastern child growing up around Philadelphia, “stuck in this space between Arab and American.” Yet the entrepreneur, now 32, described herself as having “lucked out” in life.
That Gulf War-inspired exit from Kuwait, she said, enabled her to escape a likely future as an oppressed woman in a part of the world where a rape victim is more apt to be jailed than her attacker.
With the launch of Roar for Good, her fourth venture, Mustafa — who has a business degree from Temple University — has her eye on this bottom line:
“I want to leave some type of impact and make somebody’s life better.”
Roar will attempt to do that with wearable technology no bigger than a watch face. When activated, it will emit a loud alarm and flashing lights. Interacting with the wearer’s phone via a Bluetooth chip, it also will call 911 and send a text alert of the person’s whereabouts to designated contacts.