"If you want to succeed you need to dedicate enough time to it and the proof is that even with my complicated situation, I was able to succeed because I gave it my all."
Abdallah is a 35-year-old computer engineering student from Jordan. He found himself confined to a wheelchair as a result of an accident when he was 15, which prompted him to put his studies on hold for a while.
He had the choice to either give up and let his disability define him, or fight to get his life on track. He decided that he needed to take control of his life and the best way to do that was through channeling all his energy into his studies. “Studying wasn’t an escape but a priority to survive this life... at the end of the day you need to fight back. I found that studying will be what changes my life instead of living constantly with negative thoughts,” he explains.
Abdallah had to self-learn and was able to graduate high school with a high score 9 years after the accident and get accepted at the University of Jordan. He decided to study computer programming. “Because of my medical condition it’s hard for me to work in something that requires physical effort. In the end, I need something that is applicable to my health situation, so the best thing was to work with computers and I like computers so this field was the most suitable for me.”
It took a tremendous amount of courage and hard work for him to get to where he is today. After he completed his bachelor's degree, he worked as a research assistant for 2 years as he didn’t have the financial means to enroll in the Master's programme. All his efforts paid off when he heard about the EDU Syria scholarships. “The scholarship had a very positive effect on me because I got the opportunity that everyone waits for to continue with research, because research improves people’s mentalities […] the scholarship was one of the best things that happened in my life,” he says.
Abdallah draws his strength from the unconditional support of his family, friends and colleagues and he has been working on an innovative project for the last 3 years. “It’s a communications system that doesn’t exist anywhere in the world yet and It could provide an unprecedented service and could save you on energy and costs,” he explains.
Being awarded the EDU Syria scholarship, an initiative made possible thanks to the financial support of the EU, via the Trust Fund, to different Jordanian universities, allowed Abdallah to have a more positive outlook on his future prospects: “Someone who gets to this point and is capable of doing excellent things, will not stop. For my future, I hope to be able to pursue a PhD and, when I get to a certain level of knowledge, to transmit it to my surroundings, to new students, and show them that even if there are challenges, you can succeed if you really want to.”
Thanks to the financial support of the EU through the Trust Fund, EDU Syria, has been awarding more than 3,800 scholarships to Syrian refugees and vulnerable Jordanians in Jordan since December 2015, for them to access the job market with the required skills.