We’re creating a fund that any displaced college student can apply to for financial help to stay in school.

By Shiyam Galyon

There is no emergency fund that exists to help displaced students stay in school — so we decided to create one.

Books Not Bombs is creating a scholarship fund to address “gap needs” available to all displaced students. The Books Not Bombs Fellowship is a new fund that will help displaced students cover gap expenses associated with higher education, including registration and exam fees, school supplies and living expenses. To be eligible, a student must have been displaced from conflict and currently be enrolled in a higher education program anywhere in the world.

This means we can…


“I do what I can because for me it is incomprehensible to do anything but help.”

By Lida Dianti
Founder, USC Students Organize for Syria

On April 26, students at the University of Southern California hosted their first Refugees Welcome dinner, where student leaders, professors and community members were invited to share a meal with recently resettled refugees in the Los Angeles area. The ‘break bread, break barriers’ model was adopted by USC’s chapter of Students Organize for Syria (SOS) in an effort to raise funds the Kinda Alraiss Scholarship. …


Syrian refugee student Ayman Alsalloumi leaves for school and is ready to face the day.

Reflections from one student on waking up to news of another chemical weapons attack

By Musaab Balchi
Master’s Student
George Mason University

I was working on my school paper today when the chemical attack in Khan Shioun happened. I got traumatized and started to remember the chemical attack on al-Ghouta in 2013, the fear and sadness on everybody’s face in Damascus, and what may happen to my family who are still in Syria. I went to sleep wishing that when I wake up I will be able to prepare for the today’s class, but it did not work.

The hardest part about being a Syrian refugee and student is that you have to forget…


Hundreds, if not thousands, more were affected

The 2017 Executive Order banning immigration from seven Muslim majority countries affected an estimated 17,000 students in America. Just a few days with the ban being in effect was enough to cause an international uproar — and mobilize tens of thousands of Americans at airports. Here’s a short list of students affected by Trump’s immigration ban whose stories we know.

  1. Khaled Almilaji/ Syrian on student visa MPH student at Brown University. Stranded in Turkey.
  2. Nisrin Elamin/ Sudanese Phd student. Anthropology, Stanford
  3. Alaa Alsabeh/ Syrian student about to study at Wayne State. Barred from entering.
  4. Fatma Abdalaa/ Libyan PhD student, stranded…

Our response to the refugee crisis will define our moral character.

By Hannah Johnson
Student, Brigham Young University

From October 2014 to March 2016, I had the incredible privilege of serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Frankfurt, Germany. I was serving in an industrial city near Dusseldorf when the Syrian refugee crisis began to directly affect Germany. It is hard to explain what I felt as I started meeting these incredible people. Sometimes we couldn’t communicate, but we would smile at each other to try to show mutual love and support. Sometimes they were lost and I would try to communicate with them…


The time for quiet is over.

By Chris Lo Records
Campus Coordinator, Books Not Bombs

“The time for quiet is over. The time for trouble-making has begun.”

Over the past few months, I, along with the entire Books Not Bombs team, have had the privilege to work with campus organizers across the United States to campaign for scholarships for Syrian students. BNB student organizers have demonstrated, written Op-Eds, met with their administration, signed petitions and passed resolutions. Through it all, organizers have called on their campus communities to live up to the inclusive promise of America.

The results have been remarkable: scholarships secured at the University…


Photo: Newtown graffiti, Flickr

Christians must reiterate our commitment to the stranger

By Christopher Lo-Records
Campus Coordinator, Books Not Bombs

The impending executive order from the Trump Administration targeting the United States Refugee Admissions Program should be of concern to all Americans and especially to all Christians.

For decades, the United States led on refugee resettlement, with American Christians in the vanguard. After exerting only minimal efforts to assist with refugee relief during World War II, the United States welcomed a significant number of refugees from Southeast Asia and Central America in the latter half of the 20th century. Countless thousands of these refugees received assistance from Christian relief organizations affiliated with…


Joining thousands of people in support of refugees, migrants, and Muslim communities at Washington Square Park, NYC

Why the Executive Order banning refugees is wrong and dangerous.

By Shiyam Galyon
Campaign Coordinator, Books Not Bombs

Earlier this week, it was announced that President Trump would be signing an executive order banning refugees and migrants from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. An advance draft from the LA Times states that the ban is being imposed in the name of protecting the American people from people who don’t share our values.

I read the entire document and it’s dangerous. The proposed policy frames banning refugees, particularly from Syria, in the name of “protecting” the American people. It goes on to say we need to tighten our vetting process. …


A display case that the author helped create at the University of Evansville. Picture Credit: Scholars For Syria

University of Evansville alumni Hannah Richardson reflects on co-founding Scholars For Syria.

By Hannah Richardson
Cisco Systems
University of Evansville 2016

In August of 2012, I moved to the cornfields of Indiana to begin my freshman year of college at the University of Evansville. Eager to learn about the world beyond the Midwest, I walked into our student union on the first day of orientation with my mind drifting to dreams of semesters abroad. To my surprise, I met my very first friend that day, and he was a Syrian.

At this time, the Syrian conflict had been growing for a few years, but it seemed a threat confined to the Middle…


Picture Credit: Kaialtair.com

Educating young minds during crisis is essential

By Ghaith Safi
University of Evansville Class of 2017

My name is Ghaith Safi and I’m currently a fifth year senior at the University of Evansville. I will be graduating in May with a Bachelor of Business Administration with a Major in Finance and a Minor in Economics.

I was born and raised in Damascus, Syria. I stayed there until I was 16. When the war started, I contacted Monica Ibrahim from EducationUSA and she helped me get accepted to a prestigious boarding school in Utah, Wasatch Academy, where I was able to finish my senior year of high school…

Books Not Bombs

We are students campaigning to get universities to join the @IIEglobal Syria Consortium. Scholarships = hope for Syrian students. Join us.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store