Giving Compass’ Take:
• Yara Al Maouni explains how the Syrian civil war interrupted her education and how the educational opportunities she was afforded in the United States got her back on track.
• How can donors help refugees find new homes and resume their education? How does immigration play into this equation?
• learn about high impact opportunities to support refugees.
There are many things people don’t know about life in my home country of Syria.
First, it was an incredibly beautiful, and incredibly normal, place in which to grow up. My friends and I were typical teenagers who looked forward to going out on Friday nights and the arrival of summer break.
It is also a country that, culturally, places a high value on education. We were all expected to perform well in school, and attend and graduate from college. The need for and importance of education was so well understood, it seemed as much a basic right as good health or personal safety.
But one day, very quickly, all of those rights were shattered.
That Tuesday morning in 2011, our neighborhood was viciously bombed. My days as a typical teenager were over, as was the normalcy of the lives of my 20 million fellow Syrians.
It speaks to Syrians’ prioritizing of education that my school continued to operate despite the growing safety challenges. Frequent power outages meant studying by candlelight, without internet access, often without heat or running water. I have vivid memories of riding the bus to school, looking out the windows and seeing only empty streets.
Then one day a bomb exploded during my geometry class, this time within a block of my school. The windows shattered, gunfire rang out, and we were hurried into an underground shelter. In Syria, students are not allowed to have cellphones in school, so it was many hours before we were able to notify our parents that we were safe. After that, my parents refused to send me back to school.
Read the full article about education interrupted by war by Yara Al Maouni at The Hechinger Report.
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