IMAN AND Mohamad
CITY OF ORIGIN: Aleppo
LENGTH OF DISPLACEMENT: 1.5 YEARS
OUR FAMILY: RANIA (14), MOHAMAD (16), IMAN (13)
OUR STORY (APRIL 2015): We lost our father in 2001 in Aleppo, and in 2014 our home was destroyed by a bomb. When the Karam Foundation Team visited our family in April 2015, we lived in a makeshift, one-room home which was a former storefront. Our house consisted of one high window that let the bare minimum of light and fresh air into the dark space. Our pretty, chirping parakeet was our only source of joy in our home. Unlike our younger sister, Iman, we had to work to support our family.
Before Karam Foundation supported our family with a monthly stipend so that we can go to school, Rania was a cashier in a grocery store, which is considered to be one of the highest paying jobs in town for a Syrian refugee, and Mohamad worked in a mechanic shop with our older brother, Rashid. Our mother's dream is for all of us to have an education, and when Karam Foundation was able to make that happen for us, she was beside herself with joy. We are so proud to be the first kids in Karam's Learn not Earn Program.
UPDATE - SEPTEMBER 2015: Rania will be graduating next year with honors. Mohamad loves learning math and science and wants to be an engineer when he grows up. Our mother saved money from the monthly stipend and moved our family to a real home with rooms, windows, and running water. Our pet parakeet, Karam, is still our source of joy in our new home, but now, we have many other reasons to be happy.
UPDATE - MARCH 2016: Due to Rania's low attendance in school, Karam Foundation is forced to remove Rania from the sponsor program. However, her younger sister, Iman joined the program in her place in March 2016. We met Iman in April, 2015, she is the star in our Innovative Education mission video! WATCH THE VIDEO
"My favorite subject is math. I really like my math teacher. He challenges us, but he is very helpful. I like to study and to work hard. I think math is very useful. I really enjoy it. My class is big, but the teachers are very patient with us. My younger sister Iman really likes school. She likes learning Turkish. She is very good in this subject and gets good grades. She really likes her Arabic teacher. She wakes up early and gets ready for school by herself. We really like school. Thank you so much for your support!" - Mohamad
UPDATE - JUNE 2016: "School is great! Iman and I have so much fun there, even if Iman hates waking up early in the morning. This summer, Iman will take computer classes and I will focus on sports. I’m doing much better in school even though I still sometimes find math is hard, but that doesn’t matter because I love to read and I reward myself by reading after doing some math homework! We both have made so many great friends, and we are so much more comfortable now. Love, Mohammad"
UPDATE - SEPTEMBER 2016: "This summer, Iman and I volunteered with my school to distribute the yearly udhiya’, a meal that we prepare during the Eid celebrations! Iman took courses at school for basketball, handball, cooking, and sewing while I took some general classes. We visited our relatives in a different city, which was really fun. We are both so excited to go back to school to see our friends and teachers. My goal this year is to be first in my class. Iman is going to study extra hard for English and I want to become the Boy Scout leader. We’re both going to miss our summer activities but can’t wait to start school! Love, Mohammad"
UPDATE - JANUARY 2017: "The first few months of school were okay. Iman is so lucky, because she finished with her exams and she got such good grades. I still have some after our vacation ends. My mom says she is proud of us, especially since we are both doing really well and I hope I do good on my last exams! My best friends, Nadim and Mohamad will help me study so we can all do well. At school, Nadim and Mohamad and me play together, while Iman plays with Zahra. We both missed our friends and our favorite teachers. My favorite teacher is my history teacher, Dia and Iman's favorite teacher is her Turkish teacher, Maryam." -Love, Mohammad
UPDATE - APRIL 2017: "I've really been enjoying my time in school. My teachers always talk about how helpful I am, since I help them with some administrative stuff like greeting the students and parents when they arrive! Iman has been excelling in school as well: she got 90/100 on her examinations, and she's learning how to do really cool things on the computer, like how to use PowerPoint, in her computer class." Love, Mohammad
UPDATE - OCTOBER 2017: “We went to Istanbul during the summer, where I finished my C1 TOMER course (Turkish Language Class). We also joined the Peace Club where I went camping, while my sister Iman learned cooking, handicrafts and sewing. I am now in 11th grade. Going back to school got me very excited, Karam House gave me a backpack, and I thank them a lot for that because I needed one. P.E class is my favorite, and I wish we had more of it during the week. We both strive to be the first in class, last year Iman got 87/100 in her examinations! One day I hope that I can become an engineer and Iman wants to become a surgeon” – Mohammad.
UPDATE - JANUARY 2018: “Everything at school is going well. My highest grade was in my English exam and usually in school when I don’t understand something I ask for my teacher’s help. I am excited about going to school but what bothers me the most is that my way to school is a bit uncomfortable. Mohammad loves his Turkish teacher the most and is very happy in his school. We go to Karam House regularly where we always get to learn about new things.” – Iman.
UPDATE- APRIL 2018: “My school is a little bit far, I go there walking with my friends and I really enjoy their company. I have a lot of friends, three of them I consider my brothers and I always wish the best for them. Iman looks up to our mom because she’s a strong, calm and patient woman. I really like playing video games and I get excited everytime I win. Maths is the hardest class and I use Google and YouTube for help.” – Mohammad.
UPDATE- August 2018: “I had some difficulties in physics and math last year but I took the YOS prep class at Karam House this summer so I know that will help me alot this year. I rooted for Mexico during the World Cups this year and Iman was team Argentina, but unfortunately they both lost! I used to watch the games with my friends. Of Course my favorite animal is the lion because it's the king of the jungle. Other than the YOS prep class, i also attended the photography camp at Karam House daily. I created a project for photographers to have better space when they want to shoot a video.” - Mohammad.
UPDATE - DECEMBER 2018: “Everything is going well, but, if I had a superpower, I would be really fast to get to school quicker. I haven’t had any problems this year, but I do have some difficult classes like math and physics. If I were a physics professors, I would teach the kids sports instead! The best thing is that I haven’t had any recorded absences this year, despite sometimes being late. In five years, I hope to see myself graduating college.” - Mohammed
"I’m in ninth grade, which is my first year in a Turkish school, and I've had no problems. The subjects are quite difficult, but my best grade is in Arabic - I got 100%! After graduating, I plan to go to college to become a surgeon." - Iman
UPDATE - April 2019: “During the mid-year break, I attended YOS classes while Iman went to a studio on “Flying Robots.” I also went out with my friends: I have two friends I really enjoying hanging out with, Hamza and Mutaz, because they know what I’m thinking before I even say it! I love the beginning of the year because spring is actually my favorite season - we get to celebrate Nawroz!
UPDATE - OCTOBER 2019: “I finished high school with an overall rank of 88%! I also got 77% on the YOS exam. I’ve applied to Tallaul University and I got into the radio/cinema/TV program, but I want to study computer science so I have applied through the Mufaddalah program. I hope they accept me! I'm a bit nervous for the Turkish scholarship test that I have coming up, as well as the reply from the Spark scholarship. Overall, I’m excited to attend university!” — Mohammed
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