Syrian, from Daraa; seeking Undergraduate degree in Artificial intelligence and is enrolled at Zarqa University.
My name is Bashar Alallawi. I am a Syrian refugee in Jordan. I was 15 years old when the hostilities broke out in my country. Our city, Busra was under fire. We sought refuge in a shelter that was completely destroyed, but we survived. My father was arrested on February 2nd, 2012. From that day on, I felt I was responsible for my family. I had 6 sisters and 1 brother. We remained in Syria for one year, but eventually had to leave. February 2, 2013 was the day I saw my country for the last time.
We arrived in Jordan. I had to start working to help my family. I was studying at the same time.
I finished tenth and eleventh grade in school then I stopped for two years because I couldn't study and work at the same time. I worked for ten hours every day, but I didn’t give up. I bought books and studied independently when I had free time. I successfully passed my high school exams in 2018. I had to wait while friends around me were attending college. It seemed like an elusive dream.
Our family is a family of achievers. My brother had to leave school in order to help support the family with me. My two sisters got scholarships and have now graduated college. My younger sister is in high school.The other three are married in Lebanon and Syria.
I was one of forty applicants admitted to the RBK Serapis Project, in February 2019. It is an English language and computer skills program sponsored by the American Embassy. I always thought that my passion was for media and journalism. I didn't know anything about programming before. I loved it! I teamed up with friends to design a simple English language learning site for children. We worked hard until late at night and managed to design a good site. Our project was very well received. It was a career changing moment. I decided to switch majors. I felt that software engineering was my way to be of service to the community.
I love writing. I have already started writing my first novel about my country, Syria. I hope I can publish it one day.
Why Would Donors Fund You?
I always wanted to be a journalist. But my experience with computer programming changed my mind.
I feel I can make a bigger difference in peoples’ lives if I dedicate my work to offline learning for Arabic speaking children, in Syria and elsewhere.
I am aware of the digital divide, a divide that is nowhere more pronounced than in refugee camps and other locations in host countries.
That is why I decided to be a programmer with a focus on e-learning educational content.
Some free offline applications helped me to improve my English. I want to be able to open that space for children impacted by conflict.
I want to be qualified to put my knowledge to use. I am 23 years old. Under normal circumstances I should have finished college. I did not. However I believe in my dreams. That is what kept me going.
Your donation to my education will have a wider impact on my future and that of Syria’s lost generation.
How Do You Plan to Payback?
I dream of building an interactive library for children that showcases Syria's rich cultural heritage. They will learn about the history and geography of their country and feel proud of their identity.
Volunteer Work/Social Capital
I volunteered with Bailasan, an organization which provides support to Palestinian refugees. We distributed food baskets and engaged children in games and other entertainment and sports activities.
I already offered to volunteer and help other students on the edSeed platform. I continuously share useful information such as reading and audio books websites, information about scholarships among other things.
What Have You Done to Improve Yourself? Awards and Achievements
I continued to improve my English after the Serapi program.
I attended an IT sales course offered by the German Agency for International development (GIZ.)
I finished a computer science 101 at Stanford University on line.
I learned to use Microsoft suite
Computer Science 101 online Certificate, Stanford University, through KIRON