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Monica Sliwa is an Iraqi singer and songwriter based in San Diego, Californi



Monica Sliwa is an Iraqi singer and songwriter based in San Diego, Californi

Monica has always been in love with music. It was her escape and her source of positive energy. Monica Sliwa is a first-generation college graduate and a refugee from Iraq. This May of 2022, she will be graduating from UC San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy as the first Doctor of pharmacy in her family. She was born and raised in the capital, Baghdad, and escaped from her home country due to the war and various life-threatening circumstances that led to her arrival to the United States in 2010. After her arrival in the United States, doors of opportunities opened and she tried her very best to be where she is today despite all the negativity that surrounded her and her family.

She managed to teach herself how to play various instruments (guitar, piano, cajon, and ukulele) while studying, working, volunteering, and earning her bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University. She’s always used music as a stress-coping mechanism and been a positive influence on others like herself who want to sing and pursue higher education. The love of music was instilled in her way back in Syria (where she lived for 4 years as a refugee). Her family’s financial situation, gender, and culture were all in the way. Nonetheless, her goal has always been and will always be combining music and medicine. She wants to be the voice of every girl and boy who’s been discouraged from pursuing music and higher education. Music has helped her fight the darkest and most challenging days. She is grateful to have the opportunity to create and write instrumental songs to express her feelings and share them with the world. Despite not studying music, her songs come straight from the heart.

She can be followed on her Instagram account @themonicasliwa