March 10, 2017

Learning Turkish: Three Syrians share their stories

Syria desperately needs well-educated young people for the future rebuilding of the country. Currently, Turkey is home to nearly 3 million Syrian refugees, with a high percentage of those between 18-24 years. In order to keep this generation educated and motivated, SPARK supports young Syrians in accessing the Turkish language, Tomer course, in Turkey. Learning Turkish enables young people to proceed with their education and progress in their future.

Three engaged students shared their stories:

Duha, 19

Duha was delighted to receive the opportunity to learn Turkish. She had previously started a language course but to her disappointment, she still did not feel confident enough to communicate with local people. Immediately after her first class at Tomer, Duha noticed a difference: “We never use Arabic in class, the teachers only speak in Turkish and this encourages us to practice even more”. Duha now speaks Turkish on a daily basis; during visits to government departments to chatting with her neighbours. As a result of the improvements in her language skills, she was recently accepted at Osmaniye University to study chemistry.

 Nael, 20

Nael, a former communication engineer student from Aleppo, started working in a mobile phone repair shop in Gaziantep, upon arriving in Turkey. Initially, he experienced a lot of difficulties when trying to communicate with clients and co-workers. Yet, thanks to the Turkish course, he is now able to assist Turkish customers with no problems at all. Nael picked up the language so successfully that he is even beginning to teach his family: “I had to take my father to hospital in Gaziantep and thankfully, we were able to explain his problem to the doctors”. Nael hopes to study in Communications in Gaziantep next year and, after graduating, he wants to return to Syria. His dream is to develop a new technical system whereby whole buildings can share one satellite. “I took a step forward by learning Turkish and I now feel closer to my future dreams”.  

Jihad, 22

Jihad was thrilled to start the Tomer course. He lives in a refugee camp at the moment and travels back and forth daily in order to attend class to improve his Turkish. Jihad is convinced that learning Turkish is essential. He believes that even when her returns to Syria, he can use his developing language skills to work in teaching or translation for Turkish speakers. However, his dream is to help in the future reconstruction of his country: “I would like to study economics so I can develop skills needed for the reconstruction phase of Syria”.

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