The Freedom to study: A dream comes true for sponsored student Abdulrahman

Prior to fall 2012, Abdulrahman was a student at Damascus University, studying banking and finance. He excelled academically and when he was not in school studying, he kept busy with his part-time job and an active social life.

As the revolution in Syria started, Abdulrahman found himself connecting with those supporting justice and political participation in the country.

“In Damascus, I was charged by an intensity and passion to fight for the stability of a country I loved and which shaped my identity – but this did not come without a price,” said Abdulrahman.

Later on that year, Abdulrahman was threatened for his political beliefs and was forced to stop attending school. Eventually he had to flee to Jordan and became a refugee. He had no idea how or when he would be able to continue his studies. When a friend sent him information on the Student Refugee Program (SRP) – the day before the application deadline – Abdulrahman barely had time to determine if this was too good to be true. He was able to send in his application on time and was accepted shortly afterwards.

In August 2014, Abdulrahman touched down in Ottawa and was greeted with cheers and welcome signs from an enthusiastic group of Carleton University students and WUSC supporters.

“It is so hard to describe my feelings when I first arrived. However, the only thought that was in my mind in that time, is the feeling of me being able to dream,” he said.

Abdulrahman has now settled into Carleton nicely, is enjoying his classes and notes how helpful the Local Committee has been for his adjustment to the city and to Canada.

Although it has only been a couple of months since he arrived , Abdulrahman is looking forward to the future and how he could contribute to democracy and peace in his home country. At Carleton he is studying in the field and career he is most passionate about; as a political science student, he hopes to channel his voice and strengthen his skills to pursue a career in journalism in the areas of international affairs, politics and diplomacy.

“I have experienced many profound changes and challenges through my intimate connection to what is going on in Syria, and I see education as the greatest facilitator for my ambitions. In Canada and in university, I am aiming to channel my commitment to serve humans in need around the world, also to gain a deeper knowledge and awareness of international affairs, and be given the opportunity to develop my writing and critical analysis skills to develop my capacity as a global citizen, a journalist, and future leader.”

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