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Alumni takes Texas State through the Middle-East via Snapchat

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One of Texas State’s most notable alumnus graduated in 2013 and has been changing the lives of women across the globe since. This summer, Texas State’s Snapchat story has featured his adventures across countries including Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan as part of a challenging cross-continent race.

This summer, Kuro Tawil took over Texas State’s Snapchat account to detail his adventures in the Middle-East while riding around in a little blue Toyota.  The Toyota suffered break downs, dust and miles of traveling. Tawil and his partner made their way from England, through Asia and across the middle-east as part of the Mongol Rally.

The Mongol Rally takes place during the summer as it has for 11 years. Participants are required to travel by car or motor bike, however these vehicles must meet certain criteria. According to the website, these vehicles must be old, small and in worn out shape so racers get the full nomad effect.

In addition to the pride racers gain from overcoming breakdowns, language barriers and traveling thousands of miles across foreign lands, each team must raise money for charity through their travels at a minimum of 1,000 euros. Half of which goes to the rally’s preferred charity, Cool Earth.

Tawil graduated in 2013 with a communications degree. Upon graduation Tawil journeyed to Pakistan and India with the intention to “discover his limits” before determining his next step in life. Upon completing his whirlwind journey abroad, he found his calling.

Tawil now owns Kuros!, a company devoted to providing women in particularly dangerous regions of the planet with pepper spray. The spray is fitted in bright blue bottles and is dispersed by women’s groups in other countries.

Social media coordinator for the University Marketing department at Texas State, Vanessa Villescas, said she was approached by Tawil before he started the rally. Villescas said he was interested in inspiring students and to show them what Texas State alumni are up to.

“We get at least 10-20 responses from each story he posts with students applauding him and saying they want to get involved. They have a lot of questions,” Villescas said.

Tawil has updated the Texas State Snapchat story every time he connects to Wi-Fi. His stories tell the history of wherever he is, an update on the day’s struggle and photos of faraway sights.

Tawil said many of the teams who started the race have quit or have wrecked their cars, but he and his team A Fighting Chance are set to complete the race by Sept. 6.

“We’ve made it 8,000 miles so far, crossing Europe, Turkey, Turkmensitan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and the GBAO region along the border of Afghanistan,” Tawil said in a statement.

Tawil and his partner named their group A fighting Chance as it is the company’s motto to give women a fighting chance against domestic abuse, violence and sexual assault.