AHMAD, ISMAEL

CITY OF ORIGIN: IDLIB

LENGTH OF DISPLACEMENT: 2 YEARS

OUR FAMILY:  ISMAEL (10), AHMAD (9), BAYAN (15)

OUR STORY (SEPTEMBER 2015):  When the Karam Team visited us one evening in November, we were happy that they visited us in our new home. We had been living for a year and a half in a storefront down the street with many other Syrian families. But now we live in a three-room home. It is still small but better than before. Our father is ill. He is on dialysis and needs to cross into Syria every week to be treated. We want to go to school because we haven’t been to school in over three years. With the help of Karam Foundation, Bayan will be going to 4th grade, Ismael will go to 2nd grade and Ahmad will go to 1st grade. We can’t wait to start school again. 

UPDATE - MARCH 2016: "We really love our school and our teachers. They help us a lot with our school work and they make learning fun. Ismael and I like English the most. English is an important language and we like studying it. Every morning, we wake up early and go to school together to help clean up before class starts. We are happy going to school and playing with our friends. Thank you!" -Bayan

UPDATE - JUNE 2016: "Thanks to all your help, we’ve had a great year! My brothers and I love our school. My brother Ismael’s behavior has improved since we started and my other brother Ahmad is learning how to read and write! As a result, our family is so happy though mommy tells us that we need to improve our behavior, but we are trying. I’m really excited for the summer because I’m going to be taking Turkish classes." -Bayan

UPDATE - SEPTEMBER 2016: “This summer, we spent a lot of time playing at the park. It was nice to be outdoors. We also saw a lot of our family members. We are really excited to go back to school though, especially since we both miss our friends from school! We also really are looking forward to learn. Ismael and I both want to be first this school-year and our mama thinks that we can do it. We will be both be focusing on Arabic and Math, two hard subjects. But Ismael is so lucky, because he gets to learn English this year.” - Ahmad

UPDATE - JANUARY 2017: "This semester, I went with my class to a local lake and we had a really good time there playing. Ahmad's class even had a party for their teacher, since it was his birthday. They got to eat cake during school. At school, I play basketball with my best friend, Mohammad, while Ahmad plays with his best friend, Qasem. We both did well on our exams which made our parents really happy, especially my dad, since he is still sick." -Love, Ismael

UPDATE - APRIL 2017: "Ismael and I really love sports – he plays soccer and I play basketball. Sometimes, we argue with each other about which sport is better (And I always win!). Ahmad did so well in school and I am so proud of him. He came out third in his class. I also did well, and so my mom was really happy with them." -Love, Ahmad

UPDATE - OCTOBER 2017: “During the summer we’ve been to Syria for around a month. After coming back we also got ourselves busy doing some activities that we enjoy like playing football, swimming, learning Quran and improving our Turkish. Ahmed and I both like living in Reyhanli because it’s safe. One day I want to become a doctor.” – Ismael.

UPDATE - JANUARY 2018: “I was very excited to be starting school again and to learn new things, I never get bored at school because I get to see my friends and teachers there and I really like them. Ahmad is always working hard because he wants to become a dentist and he has to get good grades. We usually play football in our free time.” – Ismael.

UPDATE - MAY 2018: “My favorite soccer team is FC Barcelona, while my brother supports Real Madrid, and my favorite player is Messi, I have five close friends and we always play soccer together, it is my favorite activity. I get very excited when we visit Syria because then I get to see my nieces, nephews and my sister, we just love them so much. Ahmad says that his English class is the hardest and he’s always trying his best to improve himself.” – Ismael.

UPDATE- AUGUST 2018: “If I were a teacher I would make sure to be gentle and kind with the students. I would also provide physical activities and exercises. Ismael’s favorite animal is the king of the jungle, the lion. I love the cheetah, because it’s so fast. I’m always thinking about returning to Syria and continuing my studies there. This summer vacation, my father took us to Syria where I got to play with my cousins and visit a lake.” - Ahmed.  

UPDATE - DECEMBER 2018: “School is going well! I like the way the teachers teach us. My favorite moment from this year was the day of the Prophet’s (Peace and blessings be upon him) birthday because there was a celebration. I also have a good friend Abdulkareem that I play with a lot. He is very encouraging and funny! In five years, I’ll be thanking God that I have made it this far and have reached a good place.”  Ahmed 

UPDATE - APRIL 2019: “My favorite thing at school is being able to play basketball - we get to play twice a week! If I had money, I would buy our school more basketballs and exercise equipment. I love teaching others how to play, like my friend Ibrahim, because it makes me feel strong. When we had our mid-year break during school, I registered in a Turkish course and played with my neighbors. I love learning Turkish!” - Ismael

UPDATE - OCTOBER 2019: “Ismael and I both started going to a Quran institute. I enjoy it a lot, especially since school and Turkish class are hard. I still graduated to 6th grade, and even though school is difficult at times, I'm really proud of myself! Our family is currently looking for a new house to live in. I hope we live near a park so that I can play basketball with Ismael outside every day!” — Ahmad 

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