ZAHRA, emad, abdelaziz, aisha and hazem
CITY OF ORIGIN: homs
LENGTH OF DISPLACEMENT: 2 YEARS
OUR FAMILY: EMAD (15), ABDELAZIZ (14), AISHA (11), ZAHRA (10), HAZEM (8)
OUR STORY (SEPTEMBER 2015): We live with our cousins, Aisha, Mahmoud, Esraa, and Douaa, our mother, father, and grandmother in one small apartment. Our father, the primary breadwinner for a family of 13, has not found a stable job as older Syrian men are less likely to be hired for work.
UPDATE - NOVEMBER 2015: We all crowded into the living room to see the Karam Team sitting with our grandmother and talking about all of us. They asked us all what we liked to study the most - now that we go to school. Zahra loves to go to school and her best friend’s name is Rand. Abdelaziz loves science. When Mahmoud said he loves soccer most, we all laughed but Emad’s face looked sad because he loves soccer too but is not allowed to play because he is sick and our mother is worried he will lose his only functioning kidney. We watched our grandmother speak with tears in her eyes when she spoke about our home in Homs. She told the Karam Team that our lives are better now that we go to school. We think so too.
UPDATE - JUNE 2016: "We have so many exciting updates for you! Feras is now first in his class, which is amazing. His behavior has also improved so much. He used to be a handful for the teachers, but he has become so much better. Our teachers and our family all have noticed this. Enaam is ranked second in her class, which we are all so happy about too. Before we started school, Heba used to not do anything because she had a lot of free time. But now, Heba is really interested in learning and she has made some great friends. As for me, I’ve discovered that I love drawing -- art classes are my favorite. My mommy says that I’ve grown up a lot since started school and that she’s especially proud of how dedicated I am to my studies!" - Abdelaziz
UPDATE - SEPTEMBER 2016: "This summer, we all attended Qu’ran classes. Next year, Aisha is planning on taking music and sports lessons. We are all looking forward to going back to school because we have missed our friends and our teachers. Emad is going to start playing soccer and Abdelaziz wants to learn how to swim. As for Zahra, she is hoping to also start music lessons. I’m the only one who will not miss the summer vacation because I like school more! My siblings however wish they could play in the park all the time but they know how important school is." - Hazem
UPDATE - JANUARY 2017: "Sine my class all did well on our exams, and since we are now in the 9th grade, we went on a school trip to Iskenderun which was really exciting. I think my siblings were a little jealous, but it's okay because Hazem went to Antakya with our school and the school always takes Zahra to the park where they play. Abdelaziz and Samer have both been taking English and Turkish classes. Luckily, all of us did well in our exams and passed them with high marks. We are lucky because all of our best friends are at school with us." -Love, Emad
UPDATE - APRIL 2017: "Emad and I have seen a lot of changes this semester. Our classes are focusing more on Turkish classes and Math classes. I guess this what university preparations are like! We are all getting really good grades, and Emad, Aisha, and I act like role models for our younger siblings to motivate them to study and do well in school. For fun, we like to play soccer with our friends. The girls help mom with the housework and then play girl games with their friends!" -Love, Abdulaziz
UPDATE - OCTOBER 2017: “I had a busy summer full of activities; I went swimming and played football, I also joined Karam House where I learnt about Digital Marketing and I learnt more Turkish from my Turkish friend. My younger siblings were all engaged in different activities as well. I want to get into a good university and study the major that I love which is Pharmacy.” – Emad.
UPDATE - JANUARY 2018: “I have been making friends at school and I also got 100% on my math test! At home our uncle’s wife helps us a lot in our studies, at the beginning it was hard to study in Turkish, and Zahra found it difficult to fully express herself, but we’re getting better at it and our Turkish keeps improving. Abdulaziz was recently suspended from school because he was absent for a while due to his sickness.” – Hazem.
UPDATE - MAY 2018: “Our school is a bit far, so our dad drives us there, and we walk back home. My siblings and I sometimes argue and sometimes make jokes on the way and laugh, sometimes at school we prank our friends during break just to have some fun. Zahra looks up to her Turkish teacher and she always gets good grades in her class. Hazem really enjoys riding a bicycle, while Samer likes ” – Aisha.
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