The Right to Education

Reem started her university studies with the start of the conflict in Syria, but she was thankful for the opportunity and was filled with hope and optimism for learning. However, during her first year of studies, the unexpected occurred, and destruction took over her city of Homs. With the escalation of violence, people started fearing for their daughters from cases of kidnapping, sexual assault, and other threats. This prompted Reem’s father to not only prohibit her from going to her university, but also to leave the house at all.

Reem didn’t have a choice, she had to obey her father’s wishes and be a prisoner in her own house for no apparent reason. Then the day came when their neighborhood was under intense fire, and with the situation getting worse her father decided to leave Syria to protect his daughters; for they are whom he values the most. They left to neighboring Jordan to find some shelter until things get better in Syria. After travelling during the night, without any official documents for his children, Reem’s father is still living in Za’atri Camp, sheltering his family under a roof of a tent that at least gives them a sense of security compared to the unknown they were experiencing in Homs.

And until today, Reem is hoping to go back to her studies, put on her lab coat, and continue in what she had started. Unfortunately, though, it had been three years and she’s unable to reach her university degree. She wasn’t allowed to decide her own path in life, because she is a woman. If she was able to continue her studies and graduate, this might have given her a chance to protect herself.

-Um Samer

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