From Lebanon; seeking a Graduate degree in Masters Degree in Urban Design and is enrolled at American University of Beirut.
I am Hiba Dahcheh, a Palestinian refugee from Ein-Elhelweh Refugee camp in Lebanon. I am in the last semester of my master's degree in Urban Design at the American University of Beirut.
I need $1,700.00 to cross the finish line and I hope I will be able to do this with your help.
I spent my entire life in a refugee camp. I am the oldest of four siblings: two sisters and a brother. I opened my eyes to the adjoined crowded houses the narrow alleys, suspended power lines and poor sanitation. This was not an environment fair for human existence.
Still, it is the place that my parents and siblings call home. It’s where we sat and chattered and enjoyed being together. It is where I spent my quality time, on the roof with a jasmine vine sipping tea. It is where I heard the happiest news ever that I was admitted to the AUB to get a degree in Urban Design.
It is difficult for people to imagine what it means like to live without access to public spaces, where young people cannot go and spend time playing sports or riding a bike, just like other kids our age. I believe that everyone has the right to a decent shelter just as we are told in the Universal Declaratio of Human rights and similar instruments. Since then, I have been dreaming of improving the quality of urban life for refugees. I wondered what it would take to build a sports complex that would be a safe haven for youth thrown into despair for lack of opportunity.
This is where my dream began. I wish we would be more prepared to accommodate waves of human displacement resulting from man-made or natural disasters. We need to do to others something better than the world did to us, Palestinian refugees.
I love Hiking. It mirrors my college journey: excitement, discovery, anticipation and fear.
My undergraduate degree in Landscape Architecture at AUB was covered by a scholarship from United Lebanon’s Youth Project (ULYP)..
I got a graduate assistantship from AUB for the master’s degree that covered 80% of the tuition fees. I worked part time and managed to pay my part. But the situation in Lebanon, both before and particularly after the Corona pandemic outbreak, made it virtually impossible for me to pay the remaining dues. This is my last semester prior to my thesis submission. I AM ALMOST AT THE FINISH LINE. I can hardly wait for that moment. I know it will be worth every effort I made
How I plan to give back after graduation?
They say charity begins at home. I have two sisters and a brother waiting in line to get their college education. I am a believer in paying it forward, which is the corner stone of edSeed. I want to contribute to the education a young Palestinian woman. With my determination and persistence “I want to be the change I want to see in the world”.
I need this final push and then it will be my turn.
I participated in Think Housing competition, an initiative that seeks to ensure every person’s right to have a shelter.
I also worked part time at Challenge to Change (NGO) to promote women empowerment.
As the Evaluation and Impact Executive at Challenge to Change, I coordinated and evaluated workshops for girls in several Lebanese cities including Tyre, Sidon, Tripoli and Beirut. I also was an Educator for Sustainable Development at the “Organization for Durable Development (ODDD). I conducted workshops in public schools for sustainable development. I also organized SDG's Speak Up Workshop in Beirut
My dream of a better future was the reason for pursuing an Urban Design degree at AUB. As an Urban Designer, I hope to work in a prestigious firm specializing in city scale design strategies and marginalized communities' urban development.
I enrolled in the Urban Design Master’s program to contribute to the urban context. I chose education over a job opportunity, knowing too well that it will be a better avenue to a more secure future.
I want to be involved in the research on emerging theories and technologies to enhance my design skills.