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The story of Firas Aljoma – teacher in the north of Syria

31. January 2017 - Syrien
His desk could be located anywhere around the world: a laptop stands on the veneered surface, a pin board with timetables hangs on the wall. It is the normal workplace of a schoolmaster. But Firas Aljoma’s desk is located in the north of Syria and therefore things are anything but normal.

Der Schreibtisch könnte überall auf der Welt stehen: Furnierte Oberfläche, Laptop drauf, Pinnwand mit Stundenplänen an der Wand. Es ist der typische Arbeitsplatz eines Schuldirektors. Doch Firas Aljomas Schreibtisch steht im Norden Syriens und damit ist hier vieles ganz anders als an den meisten anderen Orten der Welt.

Schuldirektor Firas hat in Syrien eine besonders wichtige Aufgabe

Noch vor einem Jahr hatte Firas Aljoma selber nicht gewusst, dass er heute hier sitzen würde. Weniger als eine dreistündige Autofahrt von Aleppo entfernt, ist an diesem Ort nichts wirklich sicher. Erst mit dem Bildungsprojekt von arche noVa war klar, dass sein Job bezahlt und der Unterricht für die Kinder an der Alsawrah Schule ermöglicht würde.

About a year ago Firas Aljoma did not know that he would be sitting here today. This place is less than a three hours’ drive away from Aleppo and thus nothing is really safe. Only the education project of arche noVa ensures his salary and enables children to attend the Alsawrah school.

“The commitment of arche noVa is much-needed, especially because the number of children who had to abruptly intermit their education increases”, he tells the staff of our local team. The parents could not be accused. “They face so many difficulties. And they have neither enough time nor money to extensively care for their children”, explains Firas Aljoma who has a daughter himself.

Under these circumstances school is even more important. It structures the daily life, offers refuge and opens up opportunities for the future. Firas Aljoma is happy about any support which benefits his school. “All students received schoolbags and writing material from arche noVa. The lessons follow the curriculum and trainings are offered to our teachers.”

During the last weeks the temperature in the north of Syria dropped considerably. Therefore arche noVa takes care of heating the classrooms of all nine schools in the project area despite the logistic challenges. The Alsawrah school received stoves and fuel as well.

It is Firas Aljoma’s biggest wish that all of “his” children will be able to attend school and learn till the end of the school year. He cannot plan any further. That is no surprise considering how fast the situation changes. Families come and go. Traumatic experiences weigh down adults and children. Clearly audible military planes regularly cause panic among the students and teachers when they fly low to drop their deadly load somewhere. Firas Aljoma’s desk is truly a very special workplace in a very special workspace.