Kiron student: ‘My story is not set in stone yet’

  • The NetHope Blog
  • July 26, 2017
Kiron student: ‘My story is not set in s

A picture of a man reading a book. The picture is taken in a well lit room from behind looking down at the book over his left shoulder. Only the man and the book are in focus. The rest of his surroundings are blurry.

Kiron Open Higher Education is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to provide refugees with the opportunity to get higher education. Kiron is a grantee of Project Reconnect, an initiative from NetHope and that provided 25,000 Chromebooks to nonprofits supporting refugees in Germany. Kiron makes the laptops from Project Reconnect available to students in local study centers or as loaner devices.   

We are pleased to feature several Kiron student stories over the next few days, including this first one from Mohammed, who told his story to Kiron’s Flora Celine Roenneberg.

“My name is Mohammed. I am a refugee from Damascus, Syria,” he says softly. 

Now, Mohammed studies Business Administration with Kiron. He came to Germany in 2015. Back in Syria he studied science and had his own business, selling medicine material. “It was a good job and a good business, I even came to Germany for a business trip once.” 

In posture Mohammed seems tall, however his eyes seem shy. “It was like a dream back then. But I don’t think about the past. It is too hard.” He explains: “As a refugee you have to forget about everything that was before. I cannot think about the past, I have to create a new life now!”

In his voice lies sadness and hope at the same time: “I focus on my studies and learn German! First, I came to Dortmund to live there for one year, then I came to Berlin. My family, my wife and children joined me here three months ago. My son is eight years old now and my daughter is four; they both go to school and kindergarten in Lichtenberg (a district in Berlin). My wife studies biology here at the Free University of Berlin. We are very lucky!” Mohammed smiles: “I really like my studies with Kiron. Coursera is fantastic. I enjoy online learning very much. Kiron gave me a laptop sponsored by Project Reconnect. You don’t have to go anywhere – you can learn from everywhere at any time!

Read the full story at the NetHope Blog.