We are pleased to announce a new book release, My Beautiful Homeland: Stories of Syrian Students in Portugal.
This book is available in Portuguese only. But the English translation will be released soon.
The Prologue of this book is written by President Jorge Sampaio. Let’s take a look at it to frame this new initiative and get a better understanding of the book’s content and purpose.
Why this book now?
As President Jorge Sampaio puts in the prologue, “the idea of combining the voices of the Syrian students with those of the small team that has worked with me since mid-2013 coordinating the emergency scholarship programme for Syrians slowly germinated over time, but without any clear view of what form it would ultimately take.
The idea was primarily to tell the story of this initiative, to complement and amplify the reports of our activities that we publish every year. This would give voice both to the Syrian students and to those more often in the field, who closely monitored the key operations that initially enabled the scholarship programme to get off the ground and become a living project. In the later stages, these field officers have also enabled the initiative to develop and thrive.
What is this book all about?
The outcome is a surprising number of stories that unfold as they describe the work, the difficult, consistent and determined labour performed over recent years by the small set up to manage the emergency scholarship programme, under the umbrella of the Global Platform for Syrian Students. These stories are interspersed with an extremely impressive collection of biographies bravely and generously shared by some of the students. They are their personal stories, recounting experiences in times of war and the struggle to survive. They are the beating heart of this publication.
What is this book for?
For President Jorge Sampaio, this little book of stories also aims to express his most sincere acknowledgement to all those who supported and dedicated their time to this initiative from the very first moment. His gratitude is addressed to Portugal and his fellow countrymen, but it also extends beyond borders, as many of his friends in the United States, Cairo, Kuwait and Europe have accompanied him on this adventure from the very beginning. President Sampaio would also like that these stories represent a strong, firm and dedicated appeal to ensure that we do not waiver in our commitment to do more for the education of young people, all young people, in particular those facing conflicts and humanitarian disasters who are in need of protection in the broadest meaning of the word, eminently substantiated by the access to higher education in a safe environment. Finally, these stories are a modest tribute to and a most sincere appreciation of the students and their families, and their extraordinary resilience. As Syrian students constantly remind us, it is literally their future that is at stake as is, most importantly, the affirmation of their freedom and their capacity to move forward to realise their dreams that we, too, all end up following in one way or another. In these complicated times in which we live, we need now more than ever to cement hope in the future. These stories are a good example of how we can build a better world together.
If you want to wish this book in Portuguese, buy it here!
Now you can listen to an interview to Amer, a student of the GP4SYS, and to our Secretary General, Helena Barroco, at TSF Radio in the programme by Teresa Dias Mendes "Uma questão de ADN". Listen now! (In Portuguese).
While buying your book, you will also be helping a student to resume his/her studies!
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