Today marks our 200th blog post! As of today, we have reached over 51,000 views spanning more than 170 countries around the globe. Shukran!
Since our very first post went live in August 2012, our mission has represented the following ideals:
- The IIT Syrian student blog is an independent writing project led by students who participated in the Syrian Student Initiative at Illinois Institute of Technology. The Syrian Students for a Better Future blog provides a non-partisan and non-political platform for reflections about our experiences since our arrival at Illinois Tech beginning in August 2012. Our goal is to build a better world and future for Syria and Syrian students whose education is being shaped by the current crisis in higher education in Syria.
- We do this by sharing our narratives and by adding context to our education. Over time, we hope that our collective stories will contribute to greater clarity, deeper reflection and more sustained conversation as to the role of higher education during a time of crisis.
- In addition, we hope that our narratives will support and amplify the efforts of students across our globe who experience the disruption in their own educational experiences: students facing barriers such as war, violence, conflict, poverty, natural disaster, discrimination, and prejudice. These, and other issues, lead to the loss of their ability to further support their country and communities because they are unable to pursue advanced studies and research.
Since the first blog post in August 2012 most of the original authors of this blog have graduated, still we tell the stories of our lives in the place we now call home. Regrettably the situation in Syria has not changed, so we continue to reach out to our peers who are still in Syria.
Our blog has developed a lot throughout the past few years. We started writing about new projects, like Online Education, that won’t only benefit us, but benefit all students around the globe. Especially students who are victims of any kind of conflict in their countries.
One of the most recent projects that we have launched is the Guest Authors Initiative. As guest authors students are able to have their voices heard through a global platform. By formalizing the guests authors initiative we hope that our peers back at home, and across the globe, will feel empowered to share their stories as we did when we first came to Illinois Tech. The IIT Syrian student blog welcomes guest contributions from university students from Syria and around the globe. We were already amazed by the content we have received from the students who are inside Syria.
We couldn’t be more excited about reaching this milestone and would like to give an extra special thank you to all of our dedicated readers, and guest bloggers, and for your contributions, feedback, and comments over the last nearly four years. It has been great seeing non-Syrian friends interacting with our stories and sharing our posts with their networks.
As we think about the next 50 posts, we hope to not only continue to provide you with the best content but to continue fostering a stronger dialogue with our supporters and beyond in order to keep our large community better connected as well as to help ensure that more and more students have the opportunity to further their higher education aspirations, and to truly transform their lives and the lives of their communities and our country of Syria.
The people of Syria inspire us. We owe our country, its people, and the country that has welcomed us with open arms everything.
- The Syrian Students for a Better Future blog team