Christine Goussous, Global Nomads Group
Monday morning; we get ready for our school visits, I am finally meeting Abir, Amani, Mohammed, and Aya. I have only seen them in videos, but I know it won’t be the same as meeting them in person, and I am unable to calm the excitement; there is something about these kids that touched me, and deep inside, I am hoping to be able to make a some sort of difference in their day.
Sheikh Fneish was our first stop; that’s where Abir and Amani go to school, and as we approach the tented community, I was in shock and just tried to take in the fact that this settlement is what they call home. We visited the different classrooms that were filled with students who are full of energy and so eager to learn, even if their classroom is a tent, and despite the fact that it might get uncomfortably hot inside the classroom during the summer.
We stop by Miss Amina’s classroom and I go in eagerly looking around trying to find Abir, after a few moment of searching, there she was, in the first row, welcoming us with her warm smile and bright eyes. After that, we visited Abir’s family who lives in the tented community. We had a chance to sit with her parents and siblings; we discussed education and Abir’s passion for education. Even though both her parents are illiterate, she thrives to learn more and teach those around her, and it was very refreshing and assuring to know that both her parents support her education and that they always push her to get the best out of the education she’s getting in that little tented school.
We then visit Ahmed Jamil; a school building that hosts Syrian students in the afternoon shift. We met Mohammed and Aya there, both of them are bright in their own way. We were very excited to show them the media pieces that we filmed about them, and for them to see their peers from the States and Sheikh Fneish camp. We sit with them and we start playing the videos, and there comes a moment were Mohammed gets emotional. After they’re done watching, we ask him what made him this emotional; he said he was really bothered because Syrians lived in decent houses and had a beautiful life back in Syria, and it breaks his heart to see them living in tents that are in a bad shape and in a place that is not fit for humans to live in. But despite every hardship they are going through, and despite being away from their homeland and family, you can still see the hope they have in life and hear about the dreams they want to accomplish after finishing their education.
Christine Goussous, Global Nomads Group
It’s been around a week since the webcast, and I am still feeling that rush of excitement mixed with stress that I felt during those 40 minutes of the webcast. I am so glad and honored to have been a part of the team that made this successful webcast happen, and to have been exposed to such experience.
Education matters, and most of us take education for granted; going to school becomes a part of our daily routine as kids and we were never put in a situation where that could have been taken away from us. The situation is not the same for a whole generation of Syrian refugees; education became something unaccessible to them, and for some a much-wanted dream, but what gives me a glimpse of hope is the tremendous amount of work that many organizations and initiatives are doing to make that dream become a reality, and back to being a daily routine for them as well, simply because every child has the right to an education.
“Develop a passion for learning, if you do, you will never cease to grow.” — Anthony J. D’Angelo
I want to thank Students Rebuild for not only giving a Syrian student the opportunity to get an education, but also for spreading awareness about the Syrian Crisis in a creative and meaningful way. Those students who participated in the Pinwheel Challenge will never forget it, and I am certain that it has impacted them positively.
Every pinwheel made a difference, and some were an inspiration for the Syrian students. We gave the Syrian students who participated in the webcast pinwheels that were made especially for them from their peers in the States and I cannot forget the look on Mohammed’s face when we translated the sentences that were written on his pinwheel, his face lit and his eyes sparked, and that moment made me so thankful and humbled to have had the chance to do what I do.
I wake up everyday missing them and wishing I had a chance to spend more time with them, and deep inside I hope that this experience would be as memorable for them as it was for me. And I cannot conclude this blog without thanking the teachers, Miss Amina and Miss Khitam, for the work that they do with these students and the passion and dedication they have towards providing them with a safe place where they can prosper and aim for greatness.
With a very heavy heart I say goodbye, and I hope their future is as bright as they are!