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Educating Syria's Future: Challenges and Opportunities

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When: Friday, September 14th 9:00am-12:00pm

Where: District Architecture Center, 421 7th Street NW, Washington DC 20004

The American Relief Coalition for Syria, Karam Foundation, and Syria Relief and Development invite you to presentations and a Q&A session, bringing together leaders from humanitarian and research organizations to reflect on the current challenges facing education for Syrian youth, the innovations addressing those challenges, and the importance of education on the stabilization both of Syria and the region as a whole.

Light refreshments will be provided.

Event Agenda:

  • 9:00am - 9:30am Check-in, Coffee, Networking

  • Welcome and Opening Remarks

    • Dr. Ahmad Tarakji - Chair of ARCS Executive Committee
    • Dr. Nahed Ghazzoul - Al-Zaytoonah University of Jordan
  • Session One: Elementary Education and Innovations
    • "Innovation: Karam House" - Lilah Khoja, Karam Foundation
      • As scores of Syrian refugee youth begin to assimilate into Turkey, innovative solutions are needed in order to maximize their educational potential and ensure that they have options for the future. Karam House is one solution: a community innovation center designed for Syrian refugee youth specifically, to instill a sense of innovation and wonder.
    • "Elementary Education in Syria" - Laila Alawa, NuDay Syria
    • "Non-Formal Education: Challenges and Opportunities at Time of Crisis" - Massa Mufti, Sonbola
      • With over 1 million Syrian refugees, Lebanon has the highest number of refugees per capita. Many of these refugees do not access to formal education. Sonbola works on developing a prototype that addresses both emergency as well as medium to long term needs, a model that works towards shifting from Relief to Resilience & Hope building towards Development. In a protracted conflict entering its 8th year now, emergency-relief-only approach is proving to be insufficient and ineffective.
    • Q&A Session
  • Session Two: Higher Education and Innovations
    • "The Challenge of Providing Recognized Education" - Jomana Qaddour, Syria Relief and Development
      • Over the past year, Syria Relief & Development launched accredited programs for high school and college age students in Syria and the region. Jomana will discuss the details of the programs and the challenges they met and continue to encounter in their effort to provide Syrians with education that other countries will recognize.
    • "Aleppo University" - Reem Sharaf, Mercy Without Limits
    • "The One Percent" - Nele Feldmann, Institute of International Education
      • Today, only 1% of the world’s more than 65 million people displaced by war and conflict attend university, compared to the global average of 34%. Education in emergencies is one of the most underfunded sectors in humanitarian aid with higher education often considered as a luxury. According to the GHA Report 2018, only 2.1% of the humanitarian aid budget is spent on all levels of education. These numbers describe a tremendous loss of human potential, broken dreams, and missed opportunities. Education, including higher education, is linked to increased opportunity, strengthened economic development, improved public health, and safer communities. It offers young people hope and a path towards a sustainable and independent future. So what can we do to open this path to more than the one percent?
    • Q&A Session
  • Closing Remarks and Call to Action
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