Posted by on June 08, 2012 in Blog

By Johara Hall

2012 Summer Intern

While some are sitting and watching as Syria becomes further entrenched in violent chaos, a group of Syrian expatriates have not given up on bettering their homeland. The global network Jusoor, an expatriate organization based in Dubai, is designed to support the economic development of Syria while aiming to help the nation overcome developmental challenges. With twenty million expatriate Syrians around the world, it only seemed logical for co-founders Fadi Salem, Dania Ismail, and others to form a network of Syrians with the objective of strengthening their nation through economic and educational means.

Ismail, a broadcaster who grew up in Dubai, highlighted that "there are a lot of Syrians and friends of Syria who are interested in doing something good for the country. I hope there will be a lot of these networks that help Syria in a non-profit kind of way, helping to develop education in rural areas and helping the youth to achieve, because they are the future of Syria…We want these people to one day go back to Syria and build it right. I see Jusoor having a great impact on what Syria could become by helping this young generation of Syrians to achieve something, whether that is in education, in business or in their careers.”

The organization’s first event was an art show designed to raise funds for a scholarship program that would aid Syrian graduates in pursuing an education abroad. Generous Syrian artists including Ammar Abd Rabbo, Abdulla Mourad, and Nassouh Zaghlouleh among others donated their works for the event. With the money collected, a group of Syrian students will now be able to pursue an education abroad with the hopes of returning to Syria and engaging in positive economic, political, and social change.

The event was not only designed to raise money for scholarships, but to raise awareness of the newly-founded organization which recently launched in June of 2011. Since its inception, Jusoor has grown to seven hundred members and now works closely with other expatriate organizations.

In addition to the art auction, Jusoor launched a mentor program in November 2011 to help Syrian students pursue undergraduate and graduate studies abroad by pairing expats with prestigious educational backgrounds to students in Syria eager to learn about how to pursue a higher education abroad, including how to apply to universities and how to write essays.

Investment in education is an important aspect of the organization’s work. According to Ismail, “there is a need for financial support for these students.” Providing Syrian students with guidance and opportunities that are otherwise unavailable are means of strengthening the new generation’s economic futures.

Although in its first stages, Jusoor has become a pioneering force of change that has shed light on the Syrian community’s solidarity and strength from abroad. More importantly, while leaders of the world have been unable to effectively come to the aid of Syria’s people, this young organization is successfully working toward a promising future for Syrians. 

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