"‘Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will’ - Antonio Gramsci"
A graduate in Arabic and Social Anthropology (MA Hons.), I am a dynamic and highly motivated individual focused on achieving results for a more equitable future. Areas of specialism include: qualitative research, knowledge management, Arabic-English translation/interpretation, project coordination and child protection in the Middle East and North Africa.
Thank you for your positive feedback Ashif! I also felt appreciative of the student loan I received as an undergraduate in the UK when listening to this person's story (never thought I'd say that!) At least in so called developed countries there are scholarships based on material necessity as well as on merit and corruption is less rife. Thinking globally, it is important as you say to develop educational programmes that empower the least economically empowered groups so that access to higher education - wherever in the world - is more equitable. Thank you for sharing your mother's story too. It is even harder as you say for women to access higher education because in addition to the financial obstacles and the stigma attached to coming from a family that is unable to afford education, women also have to deal with the pressure of society which still in many places shun women for having such 'selfish' dreams as achieving a higher education. On top of that, employment opportunities for women are still far fewer in many places. I'd like to think creatively about how to make higher education more accessible for the least economically empowered groups - especially women - in places where there are no scholarships based on material need and where accessing HE often depends on who you know, not what you know. If you have any ideas or would be interested in collaborating - get in touch!
Hi Liz, What a fantastic idea! I was just wondering what you're ideas are for promoting this product? Is it accessible/affordable to all? It looks like it involves quite cutting edge technology which could be pretty pricey! Thanks,
Hi Rana, I love the WLR project and the fact that you are already putting it into action in refugee camps in Jordan, providing a solid basis on which to replicate your project in refugee camps in Lebanon and Turkey. I was particularly interested in how you spoke of reading aloud as a way of relieving trauma. Whilst reading is well known for its therapeutic effects, through providing a positive escape/distraction and enhancing cognitive processes to better understand one's own position in the world, I thought that this therapeutic aspect could be enhanced with a writing element whereby the child is encouraged to write about their own experiences. As another contributor suggested below, stories could even be developed and published, providing a source of income for the project. The children could also read their own stories aloud to other children in the camp, helping them to come to terms with loss and the traumatic experiences of being uprooted from their communities. Similarly to the ripple effect you spoke of whereby children may encourage their parents to read to them through their enthusiasm for reading developed by the project, in this way, children and adults participating in the WLR project may inspire their peers to take up reading too.
I wish you all the best in taking this project forward. I hope to replicate it in some way in the refugee camps in the occupied Palestinian territories.