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Student at Al Quds College which is run by Luminus Education, an IFC partner.
I lived with my family in a city called Douma in Syria. I was working in several different jobs to make a living—as a part-time teacher in various preparatory and high schools, and as a sales person selling medical equipment to clinics and medical centers. But I had to leave all this behind and start from scratch. I volunteered in a number of activities to help Lebanese refugees in Syria at that time, but I never thought I would become a refugee too one day. I came to Jordan in mid-2013 and lived in several locations across Amman. I looked for jobs everywhere but it wasn’t easy.
In Douma, the situation was getting more complicated every day. It was turning into a bloodbath. We tried to move to another city inside Syria but trouble kept spreading from one city to another, so my father decided to take the whole family to Jordan. We had no other option. So I arrived in Jordan as a refugee.
At first, I couldn’t adapt to my new environment, which I found very challenging. I worked for a while as a waiter, a cashier in a super market, and a salesperson in a shoe shop. Things were difficult. Then I learned about Al Quds College (part of Luminus Education Group – an IFC investment client) and the fully funded technical programs they offer for refugees. They could open new doors for me. So I enrolled into the Civil Engineering technical program. I believe Syria will need massive reconstruction when the war ends, so there will be huge demand for civil engineers to rebuild the destroyed parts of the country.
It was a nine-month course based on practical assignments. To me, this was much better than exams, as it gave me time to think about the assignments, research it and absorb information from different sources and become more resourceful. Also the mandatory English courses that all students have to complete here at Al Quds College has greatly improved my speaking skills and made me more confident and eloquent. While searching for a job as a technical engineer here in Jordan, I also decided to study business administration, as it can help me start a business or manage someone’s business in the future. I’m exploring all the options out there, knocking all doors and the college is giving me the support I need.
I’ve also learned more about the needs of the Syrian community here; for example, many Syrian teachers are now jobless and trying to find jobs as mechanics and waiters. In addition, many children are not coping well with the education system here, or require special educational support. So I decided to voluntarily bring jobless Syrian teachers and students together to help each other. I put together a team of Syrian teachers who are out of work and linked them with Syrian students who are having difficulty studying or want to improve their educational level. I worked hard to find teachers for different subjects, like English, Arabic, and physics, from elementary to preparatory and even high school, from six years to 18 years. Now I have a team of 12 volunteers teaching about 60 students.
In Syria, teaching in schools was an additional job, but here, it’s become a necessity as it helps my community. I’m aiming to put children back in education to stop child labor, and to prevent jobless teachers from losing hope or their teaching skills. That’s why I also volunteer to teach young children and support them.