While my volunteer work with the Jusoor 2016 Summer Refugee Education Program has unfortunately come to an end, I am very thankful for such an amazing and eye-opening experience. After two and a half weeks of participating with this dynamic group, I wished the program could have lasted many more weeks. The refugee children and I had developed a remarkable bond amongst us; the Jusoor volunteers had become a closely knit team full of camaraderie.
The first couple of days seemed difficult because I felt awkward with my limited knowledge of Arabic. However, not long thereafter did I begin interacting with the children in ways that evolved into mutual understanding, expressions, and warmth. The kids started running towards me, giving me bear hugs. Even while I was on break, they would take my hand and pleaded that I follow them to their classroom. No language barrier could separate us.
During my participation at Jusoor, one thing was clear to me: that even though the children and I came from different countries, cultures, social backgrounds and speak different languages, we were still able to grow close to each other. Whether I engaged them in sports or taught them in the classroom, their passion to learn or play sports was evident. Their enthusiasm to learn has inspired me to work more diligently in all that I do, whether in academics, sports, and any extracurricular activities.