Nour, 16-year-old, Al Salam School student
“In 2012, when the bombardments started in Damascus, my family and I left thinking we’d be back to our normal life in a couple of days. Instead, we spent 8 months moving from one suburb to another -whenever the government decided to bombard the place we were living in. We never stayed longer than a month in the same place, so I couldn’t go to school. Then, we decided to move to Cairo, where there wasn’t any school for Syrian refugees. I had to enroll in an Egyptian school which wasn’t easy because the curriculum, the dialect and everything else was different, especially since I got into the 9th grade without having ever studied the 8th. Then the political situation in Egypt started worsening, for a week we had no water and no electricity in our home because of the problems… Finally, we decided to move to Turkey so that I could continue going to school. Kids from my generation seriously suffer from such school discrepancies, some of my friends haven’t been to school in four years, so I realize how lucky I am to be at Al Salam School now.
But Al Salam’s not just about getting an education. When I left Syria and started realizing that this war was actually happening, my dreams were broken, I had lost my friends, my school, everything. Studying at Al Salam, allowed me to turn a new page. Here I get to meet many teachers and volunteers who encourage me, show me that I matter. The school does its best to train us and teach us practical stuff, give us useful skills and think about our future. I feel hopeful now, I have a dream that I’ll become a journalist, and I do believe that ambition and willingness can make miracles and that the war should not and will not stop us. We’ll make Syria even better than it used to be.”