ARWA IS THE FIRST SYRIAN MASTER’S STUDENT AT UBI.
The Civil Engineering student defended her Master’s dissertation on the 8th of March under the supervision of Professor Ana Virtudes.
“Smart Cities in Arabian Cultures: Dubai as a case study” is the title of the first Master’s dissertation defended by a student of Syrian origin at the University of Beira Interior. The author is Arwa Abbara and the public defence of the dissertation happened on the 8th of March at the Faculty of Engineering of UBI.
Under the supervision of Professor Ana Virtudes, the Civil Engineering and Architecture student achieved a mark of 17 out of 20. “There are no words to explain how I feel. It’s fantastic and marvellous. I took an important step in my studies, it was an amazing challenge for me to study in another language, another style, another form. It was very difficult for me because at my university we rarely use bibliographic references, so it was very difficult for me to start in a new language, with new people and far from my family” said the Civil Engineering student.
Originating in the Syrian city of Homs, one of those most affected by the climate of insecurity that is present in the country, Arwa has been at UBI since the academic year 2015/2016. She fled from a country at war, like so many of her compatriots who were able to, and believes that “this crisis will go on for more than 10 years, because we need a lot of time to rebuild our country. Before anything else, we have to solve all these problems and only then can we begin to reconstruct our country, but it’s going to take a lot of time”. On the other hand, she explains “our students, our children didn’t have the basic right to study, to get an education. More than half of our children are not in school because most schools have been destroyed, thus I think that it’s very complicated and it’s going to take more time”. -
Full story in Portuguese
FROM FACEBOOK WE WOULD LIKE TO SHARE A BEAUTIFUL TESTIMONY ABOUT SARA WRITTEN BY A FRIEND:
- A week has passed since the International Women’s day, and it’s time for me to tell you about a great real life woman. Her name is Sara, she comes from the Arab World, she was born 23 years ago in the vicinity of Damascus, capital of Syria, in a country that is the size of 5000 years of History. She’s celebrating her 3 years of residency in Portugal this month. In these 3 years, she’s learnt to speak Portuguese, one of the most difficult and treacherous languages in our world, she’s adapted herself to our culture and to our way of life, and she’s admirably managed to achieve all the goals in her degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences, one of the most demanding courses in Portuguese higher education. My pharmacist friend Sara particularly surprises me not because of her brilliant marks, since college for me isn’t worth much when compared to our human and social dimension, but through the story of her life combined with her personality. I’ve learnt a great lesson with her, one that I’ll take with me all my life. As great as our disappointments may be, and we will be disappointed, we should never use them as a reason to treat others with indifference or cruelty. Sara escaped the war at a young age, she was separated from her family, her friends, many dreams, and because of that she has travelled thousands of kilometres. And yet, she’s a friendly human being, humble and always smiling. Can you imagine what a feat this is? She’s discreet, she prefers to pass unnoticed, but I couldn’t stay silent. Sara represents the vast majority of muslims who live on this planet and their captivating culture that we can encounter in our day-to-day lives. For they too have visited and colonised us, and in that time we learnt with them. Sara and her country deserve the best that life can give them. :)
“Ultimately, Syria's conflict isn't about numbers – it's about people” Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for the Refugees - João Máximo
Full story in Portuguese
WARM CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU BOTH, BUT ALSO TO ALL OUR STUDENTS WHO LIKE SARA AND ARWA NEVER GIVE UP !
(Courtesy translation by Anna and Luis, many thanks to your both!)
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