Syrian; seeking Undergraduate degree in Pharmacy and is enrolled at Zarqa University.
My name is Mariam Nusairat, I am 18 years old. I am one of a family of 10, 6 sisters and 4 brothers. My family was separated during displacement. Five of my brothers and sisters are married and stayed in Syria. The other five joined my mother and father in Zaatari. Before displacement, we had a decent life . My father worked as a construction/excavation forman. He had a steady job and earned good income. My brothers worked with my father. My older sisters got married. My parents wanted us to continue our education. If our circumstances allowed us, we would have been able to attend college. My mother is diabetic and has heart problems.
I scored 83.1 on my high school (Tawjihi) Diploma, scientific branch. If I manage to go to college, I will be the first of my 10 siblings to have a university degree.
The war turned our lives upside down.
Our living conditions at Zaatari were very harsh. We had to adapt to extended power and water shortages, and lack of sanitation facilities. We were not alone. We still managed to make the best out of our circumstances. After all, the inhabitants of Zaatari were all equal. Our schools were tents when we arrived. Eventually, they were replaced by caravans. We painted the walls to make them bright. There were improvements year after another. We have more schools and health care facilities now. But in the final analysis, we are still refugees.
When I was still in grade school, I remember being asked what would I want to be when I grow up. I said I want to be a doctor or pharmacist. I wanted to be able to take care of my mother.
Syria is a third world country. Although we have medical facilities, our villages lack quality health care services. A pharmacist in a village would eventualy be the health care advisor to his or her community. She/he are accessible all day without appointments. While I fully understand the difference between the two professions, I still believe I can be of help to my people as long as I am in the medical field. I can work in research and educate my community members about the need to follow their doctors' orders. I complement, not replace the role of the health professional.
Learning is my passion. I am aware that no child would ever chose displacement over the security of her homeland, yet I also acknowledge the opportunities that were offered to us in the camp. I participated in Project Turquoise Activities when the Organization visited the camp. Regrettabley, due to an administrative oversight, my name did not make it to the short list.. I know my score would have qualified me for the Scholarship. I have no grudges and am happy for those who got it.
Why Would Donors Fund You?
I am optimistic and have trained myself to turn the challenges into opportunities. I managed to find happy moments even in the harshest conditions of displacement.
I learned to become a lesson in resilience and an inspiration to others. I am outspoken and know how to defned my self and speak out against social injustice, ill treatment of girls and children and other social problems.
I feel I am empowered to make a difference in my community's life but I can only do that if I get the training I need.
How Do You Plan to Payback?
I want to be able to volunteer with "Doctors without Borders" and the "ICRC".I will make every effort to apply the skills I learned to my peers and community. I will continue to spread awareness against the ills of early marriages, gender-based violence, violence against children, school dropouts, sexual harassment and drugs. I believe that my education in the health sciences will qualify me to speak with authority about these issues not only from a social perspective. I will be able to discuss the above ills from the perspective of the individual's physical well being.
Volunteer Work/Social Capital
My participation in workshops provided me with the skills to cope and help others improve their lives in the camp. We discussed issues of concern to the community such as, early marriage, child labor, unemployment, under-performance in and dropping out of schools. I participated in another course in community police, drugs, sexual harassment, smoking, stealing, violence against women and children.
Also, I participated in the "No for early Marriage" debate and won the prize for the best debater. I also participated in a day to preserve the environment when we spent a day planting trees in our school.
What Have You Done to Improve Yourself? Awards and Achievements
I participated in the following workshops:
- Relief International /Unicef Debate workshop.
- Nour Al-Hussein's life skills workshop.
- UNFPA/Quest Scope joint life skills/Peer-to-Peer education and gender based violence workshop.
- Lutheran World Federation English Language training,
- "Me we Syria" training in leadership, self development, reslilience in the face of adversity, communication skills, and empowerment.
- I also have a project management certificate from the Islamic University.