Syrian, from Aleppo; seeking Graduate degree in Master of Theological Studies and is enrolled at Harvard University.
Well, I’m too shy to consider being a refugee a special circumstance, I mean I still had it better than millions of lives who are fighting for a roof or for a just trial to this day. In all cases, I was a Sunnī Muslim woman from Aleppo, Syria which deprived me of many rights and privileges. Then, in 2013, I became a Syrian Sunnī Muslim refugee woman in Lebanon with more adjectives attributed to me and more challenges. However, this summer, I am a Harvard graduate student and a graduate of the American University of Beirut in Arabic Language and Literature and a minor in Human Rights and Transitional Justice. This is Sendus, a student who after surviving the siege on Aleppo, the closed schools, the bombed institutions, the temporary kidnapping of my father in Aleppo, and the bombed house decided to spend her life studying prison literature and to give voice to those often forgotten and marginalized stories that the victims of enforced disappearance and unlawful mass arrests has shared within the literary corpus. This is what I studied in my undergraduate degree where I tried to prove the potentiality of these literary works to be considered factual documents holding witness to the atrocities committed against the victims. In my graduate studies, I plan to situate these literary works within a broader socio-religious frame.
I have been accepted into three graduate programs in the US, including Harvard and Georgetown. It is no less than a miracle and I am determined to make the best of it, for those who are still waiting for justice to be served, and those who want to believe in miracles.
Why Would Donors Fund You?
I’m annoyingly relentless, and that is my biggest asset. Scarcity, and pain taught me not to take anything for granted, and helped me always be a scholarship student. Supporting my campaign means participating in giving voice to those prisoners’ narratives, taking a stance towards justice, investing in institutionalizing justice, and helping Syria transition into a more just future.
How Do You Plan to Payback?
My professor taught me the concept of paying it forward, and that’s my plan. Through my academic endeavors, I hope to reduce the alienation of prison literature and to legitimize such works as valuable sources of knowledge without fear of deadly reprisal. By studying these literary works I intend on giving voice to those forcibly disappeared and opening the floor to more stories to be put into the literary corpus and most importantly to open the floor to women and females to share their stories and pains as well.
Volunteer Work/Social Capital
- World Food Program & AUB: Teaching Assistant
- Talent Beyond Boundaries: Middle East Communications Officer
- University Students Forum: Co-Founder
- Tutoring peers and relatives to improve English language skills.
- Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy & International Affairs (IFI): Research Intern
- Education and Youth Policy Program
- American University of Beirut: Research Assistant
- Civilizations Studies Program
- Mouzakara Jandariya - AUB: Staff Writer
What Have You Done to Improve Yourself? Awards and Achievements
- Harvard Divinity School Grant for my Master of Theological Studies
- Middle East Partnership Initiative – Tomorrow’s Leaders (MEPI-TL) full scholarship for my B.A. at AUB
- Best Delegate Award, UN Model ESCWA representing Kuwait
- Top 6 social enterprises at Touch Innovation Program powered by Zein
- Startup at Talal & Madiha Zein AUB Innovation Park incubator program for social innovation
- Full scholarship from AUB’s CEC for a diploma in Associate Project Management
- Full scholarship from V School & AlMakassed for a diploma in Full Stack Web Development