His ambition as a child is to carry his school bag, and become a student, have friends, and learn while integrating into society.
Farhan Ahmed Hassan, a refugee from Mosul, has three children, one of whom, Yousef, lost his vision a year after his birth due to cancer. Moving to Duhok from Mosul, a necessity after the arrival of ISIS, was not easy: Yousef needed someone to hold his hand and guide him through this new chapter of their lives.
“There was a big issue when I came here, regarding the language, and Yousef was a child, it was hard for him to learn a new language, to change from one to another because his mother tongue is Arabic,” he explains. Concerned about his education, Farhan took Yousef to the QUDRA-supported Roonahy Institute, which hosts specialised departments focusing mainly on children and youth with visual impairments, deafness, and suffering from mental and cognitive health issues including autism: his life changed for the better.
“They provided me with accommodation and told me it was possible to help my son, and teach him in Arabic for the first year so that he could learn Kurdish to blend with his peers,” says Farhan. Yousef is very happy here: he now speaks Kurdish fluently, he is great at memorising concepts and is passionately learning music. “I sensed that he is talented, he can tell good from bad music,” says Farhan proudly.
QUDRA is a Trust Fund supported regional initiative seeking to strengthen the resilience of Syrian refugees, IDPs and host communities in the context of the response to the Syrian and Iraqi crises. It is jointly implemented by GIZ, Expertise France, AECID and HIA in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.