Syrian Student , Lebanon
Anas Jaour was born in Al-Qusayr, in Homs, Syria. At birth, his parents realised that both his arms and legs were paralysed. Despite huge physical obstacles throughout his life and the added struggles brought by the Syrian conflict, he recently celebrated his 24th birthday.
In Syria, Anas had even begun university. He was studying Law, but his education was cut short before he could take his exams. The war had become too intense so he and his family were forced to flee to Lebanon.
The family was originally assigned to a refugee camp with a medical center due to Anas’ paralysis. However, after only six months the medical center informed them that they could no longer support Anas and the family were forced to move once again. They were sent to a refugee camp in the small town of Bar-Elias in Bekaa, Lebanon.
The conditions in Bar-Elias were dire and without a medical center nearby Anas began to lose hope in his health, let alone his future education.
However, in June 2016, Anas experienced a turning point. He came across SPARK on social media. He decided to call SPARK to get more information about the scholarship programme.
“I was so happy I couldn’t contain myself”
Anas was invited to take part in an all-day workshop at an Assessment Centre, where applicants are provided with activities and challenges. “I still remember the activities and the time I spent at the Assessment Center” he recalls and adds “I learned a lot and enjoyed meeting new people”.
Anas didn’t expect to be selected for the scholarship. However shortly after the assessment, he was informed that he’d been successful. “I was so happy I couldn’t contain myself.”
Anas registered at the Lebanese International University in Bekaa and is currently studying Accounting, as recommended by his advisor at the Assessment Centre. Due to the physical challenges he faces, SPARK coordinated with the university to ensure that his needs were met. He was given a recorder so as to be able to record his lectures and a fellow student offered to take him to class and bring him back home in his car, as well as give him assistance on campus whenever needed.
Anas says that even though his physical condition remains the same, he now feels better, happier and most importantly he has hope for a better future. When he graduates, he hopes to get a job that suits his condition. He also wishes to go back to Syria to help rebuild the country. For now “I am happy I have the opportunity to be at university getting an education.”