UNHCR / ALAA ZAATARI STUDENT

31-Jul-2015 00:01:35
Alaa, a 19 year-old Syrian refugee, is attending a Jordanian university close to Zaatari refugee camp thanks to a scholarship from UNHCR’s DAFI program. UNHCR
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DESCRIPTION
STORY: UNHCR / ALAA ZAATARI STUDENT
TRT: 01:35
SOURCE: UNHCR
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ARABIC /NATS
DATELINE: 22-23 JULY 2015, ZAATARI / MAFRAQ, JORDAN
SHOTLIST
1. Wide shot, sunrise, Zaatari refugee camp
2. Various shots, refugee camp
3. Various shots, Alaa sitting on a mattress, studying
4. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Alaa, Syrian Refugee:
“It was a feeling that can't be described. It was the happiest moment.”
5. Various shots, Alaa in the classroom
6. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Alaa, Syrian Refugee:
“I write poetry, short pieces of prose, and I direct all of my attention towards stories.”
7. Med shot, Alaa with fellow students
8. Tracking shot, Alaa walking out of building
9. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Alaa, Syrian Refugee:
"You see other colors than just the color of the desert. So when I go to the university, my psychological state changes."
10. Wide shot, women walking down the stairs
STORYLINE
Alaa is a 19 year-old Syrian refugee from Namir, Daraa region. She is attending a Jordanian university close to Zaatari refugee camp thanks to a scholarship from UNHCR’s DAFI program.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Alaa, Syrian Refugee:
“It was a feeling that can't be described. It was the happiest moment.”

DAFI scholarship is German government-funded, annual Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative (DAFI) created in 1992 to support tertiary education for deserving refugees worldwide. The programme grants scholarships to refugees at universities, colleges and polytechnics in their host countries.

Alaa opted for studies in Arabic language and literature.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Alaa, Syrian Refugee:
“I write poetry, short pieces of prose, and I direct all of my attention towards stories.”

Recently, in her first year exams, Alaa came on top of her department (Arabic language and literature), and second in the year overall.

This is despite the difficult conditions in the camp – lack of electricity due to recent cuts and having to study outdoors in high temperatures as there are 8 people living in their shelter.

But for Alaa, university offers a refuge from her life as a refugee.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Alaa, Syrian Refugee:
"You see other colors than just the color of the desert. So when I go to the university, my psychological state changes."

Alaa’s case is still the exception. Only 9,500 out of 81,500 camp residents of university age are enrolled into universities.

With demand outstripping the available scholarships through DAFI, more funding is needed to ensure that deserving bright young Syrians do not miss out on a university education.
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