“Together, we can make a profound difference for Syria’s future.”- Jusoor Syria
This year, Jusoor Syria revived its annual tradition by drawing participants around the world to its Fourth Annual Global Conference in Berlin, which took place on June 4th. The theme of this year’s conference is “Syrians as Global Citizens: Paths toward Success in Europe”. The annual conference has become an established tradition in which Syrians meet every year in a different city to discuss how they can collectively make a difference for their beloved country.
Founded in June 2011, Jusoor is an international award-winning non-governmental organization with a mission to engage Syrian expatriates in efforts that will help Syria and its people realize their full potential. Engaging a community of 110,000 individuals from over 40 countries, it has helped more than 2,500 Syrian children and youth continue their education and reach their dreams.
With the Syrian conflict entering its 5th year, there has been a rising number of Syrian refugees fleeing to Europe (with a large majority in Germany) for a better life and future.
Looking to bring Jusoor to a new part of the world with every conference, they felt that Berlin was the right place to host this year’s event.
“Germany has been a country that has set an example for the rest of the world, opening its doors to Syrian refugees.”
In partnership with the German Academic Service Organization (DAAD) and the Free University of Berlin, the event brought together close to 200 participants. There were two panels, on higher education and economic opportunities, including speakers from DAAD, the Free University of Berlin, Employment Agency Berlin-South, Network of Companies to Integrate Refugees, Workeer, and Refugees on Rails.
The conference focused on the following themes:
- Higher Education for Syrians in Europe
- Career Development and Economic Opportunities for Syrians in Europe
- Social integration and thriving for Syrians in Europe
The highlight of the conference was short “Lightning Talks”, similar to TED Talks, which are designed to showcase best practices in the areas of informal education, innovative technology-based interventions, and social integration. Speakers included Kiron (online university), Syrian Researchers (science teaching platform), Libraries without Borders (access to libraries), NetHope (connection to the cloud), the Global Platform for Syrian Students (starting an international emergency response mechanism for higher education), Syrian Music Lives (preserving heritage), Syrisches Haus (sharing information to facilitate resettlement), and SINGA (professional mentorship).
“The most powerful aspects we have discovered from previous conferences are the networking and human contact. The participants’ energy was impressive, and it showed especially at the workshops held towards the end of the day, where they discussed creative solutions, shared experiences, and seemed to have increased their inspiration as individuals and organizations to be involved in addressing the refugee crisis,” said Maya Alkateb-Chami, Director of Jusoor during the conference.
In parallel to the conference, philanthropists from Germany and around the world gathered over a dinner for an evening of giving to help Syrian students continue their higher education and to build a school in Lebanon. The fundraising dinner included an art auction, featuring Syrian artists, and a performance of traditional Syrian music.
Jusoor hopes that they continue to build on this momentum year after year.
“Indeed, our hope is that over time the Syrian global community will become the most organized expatriate community in the world. Imagine what we can do for Syria if every Syrian family around the world is involved in some capacity.”
Everyday Jusoor wholeheartedly plays a prominent role in building a hope shared by many: a better future for Syrian Refugees.
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