This week I began my quest of finding actual Syrian Refugees to interview. I know this is by new means a simple process and is going to take quite some time to organize. I figured the best place for me to start was to use the contacts that I was given last week at Germantown Meeting. One man in particular that the meeting is trying to help is called Yousef Abbara. Unfortunately , the man has injured his leg and is looking for odd jobs to tide him over until he can renew his search for work as a chemical engineer. He is currently looking for smaller jobs such as elderly care, pet sitting, house sitting, office work, or teaching Arabic. He will be speaking at another event at Germantown Meeting later next month, so I hope to be able to ask him a few questions then.
Another way I hope to be put in touch with Syrian refugees is through a college. This spring break, I will be visiting St Andrews University in the UK, which I recently found out actually is home to the world’s first research center studying specifically Syria (you can learn more about the centre at http://css.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk0). If all goes according to plan, when I visit the college next month I should have the opportunity to meet with Jasmine K. Gani, who is the head of the department. Hopefully she will be able to give me some additional names of refugees in the area who I can also ask a few questions.
With all these potential interview coming up, I need to start figuring out what kind of angle and direction I want to take this project on. Whatever I decide will influence the kind of questions I ask my interviewees, etc. Unfortunately, talking it over with Teacher Margaret and Teacher Pat the other day, I realized that it is often hard to figure out what questions to ask when you don’t know a person’s story beforehand. So in a way, it is going to be the refugees themselves telling their own angle. Wish me luck!