Syrian, from Daraa; seeking Undergraduate degree in Communication Engineering and is enrolled at Kassala University.
My name is Salam, originally from the village of Jbab, Dara'a -- famous for its natural hot springs and old Roman ruins.
Several years ago, I would have never dreamed of leaving my five siblings, mother, and father. When I was younger, I often thought about becoming a teacher in my own community. My life and my educational journey, however, have led me down a very different, exciting, but also sometimes challenging path.
In 2010, I became the first person in my family to attend university, starting a degree in Telecommunications Engineering at Aleppo University. When the situation in Aleppo began to deteriorate, I transferred to Damascus University, still with the hope of graduating and returning to Jbab.
At the end of 2015, I was called for compulsory military service. Although I had planned to travel to seek safety and continue my education outside of Syria, the same day I received my passport, Turkey closed its borders to Syrian migrants. Ten days later, I arrived instead in Sudan and eventually in the city of Kassala where I started working to enroll in a local university.
Despite my previous education in Syria, I was forced to start again from the second year when I enrolled at Kassala University in 2017. The university has experienced a total of 2.5 years of closures since the instability in Sudan and COVID-19 pandemic commenced, but now I am finally in my last year and hope to graduate in June 2023!
Why Would Donors Fund You?
I have spent 12 years across three universities in two countries to complete my degree with only two semesters left. Once I am able to fund my remaining tuition and graduate, I hope to start a masters in the field of renewable/environmental engineering with a focus on improving access to sustainable energy sources in conflict-affected countries.
How Do You Plan to Payback?
Based on my own experiences, I personally understand the struggle and challenges associated with not being able to achieve your goals. I have also been privileged to witness firsthand how even a small amount of help can make such a big difference -- be it financially or in terms of guidance and training. As a result, I am committed to doing my utmost to support other young people who are struggling to complete their education through mentorship, technical training, or tutoring.
Volunteer Work/Social Capital
Since arriving in my new home in Kassala, I have worked hard to integrate and find my place within the community that embraced me.
- I established a basketball team and won the bronze medal in a statewide national tournament.
- I volunteered with Basmat Kheir for persons with disabilities on SM posts. I was in charge of content and design.
- I initiated the One Young Kassala initiative, promoting leadership, entrepreneurship, and sports events supporting youth, women, refugees, and persons with disabilities.
- I started hiking Taka mountains and prompt it as an activity in the weekends through landscape photography and that opened my eyes on a talent that I am good at
What Have You Done to Improve Yourself? Awards and Achievements
Since arriving in Sudan, I have worked to expand my skill set to become more independent and prepare for the future. In addition to teaching myself English, I teach foreign students Arabic and am hoping to participate in online trainings to obtain a formal certification. I have also participated in several international conferences and workshops to share my experiences as a refugee student including One Young World Hague (2018), MIT International Dev Design Summit Uganda (2019), Global Entrepreneurship Week Sudan (2018-19), and UNDP Young Leadership Program 5 (2019).