August 29th 2012 the day I left Syria. Exactly one year ago. I was thinking about the whole year this morning and what changed but then I stopped for a second. What changed is not the right question. What did not change is the right one. Every single detail in my life changed; my school, my major, my social life, my goals and so on. I can easily say my whole life changed. I was studying in Homs, Syria and my only goal was to graduate and get a decent job. Maybe a master’s degree later for no good reason but that was it.
Well things didn’t go according to my plan. Everything changed in mid July 2012 when I heard about the opportunity to study in the US through Jusoor. I applied for the scholarship and I was 99% sure that I will NOT get it but what would I lose. However things started getting serious and I got emails that said I got to the next rounds until finally I got an email that said congratulations on your admission to IIT. That was the beginning of a totally new experience for me.
I arrived to the US on August 30th and the challenges began. A totally new educational system, a roommate I don’t know and already late for classes. The first month was overwhelming and I almost gave up but then I had the Jusoor and IIT families by my side and they helped me adjust to the system.
Now I look back and I can feel how I changed over the year. My only concern was my education. I didn’t care about meeting new people, getting involved in organizations or anything. But then I saw that these things matter as much as education. They add to my knowledge and critical thinking. I am now involved in 5 organizations, I know people from all around the world and I’m not isolating myself because I’m afraid of change.
I know it’s only been one year but it transferred my life from a lost person to somebody who has a goal and will do anything to achieve it. My goal is to bring justice to this world and education is how I see this being done. I want to see a world where every person will know his/her rights and limits and everyone will learn how to accept and respect others no matter what their backgrounds or beliefs are.
What Jusoor and IIT did changed the lives of 34 Syrian students who could have been killed, injured or kidnapped otherwise. My goal is to help other Syrians now complete their studies so that we can have a well-educated generation that can lead Syria to a better future and maybe we can have justice then.