Looking back over these past twelve weeks, I am certainly in awe of how far I have come. I started this project as a naive, optimistic, uneducated 16 year old, and have transformed myself into a still-optimistic slightly more educated 16 year old. However, I am only halfway up my mountain. I plan to continue to work on my independent project over the summer and into the first semester of senior year. In this new phase of my project, I plan to continue to keep up with Syria in the news as well as watching interviews of the refugees online. I was also recently put in touch with a local Syrian refugee organization not far away from Westtown so I will be looking forward to hopefully being able to get some interviews there. If all goes well, I hope to be finished interviewing and putting together my final product in time to present to the entire school next winter.
Speaking of interviews, I am happy to announce I have conducted my first official interview with a Syrian refugee! As I mentioned in previous posts, I have been hoping to get in touch with a Westtown alum named Jamal for a while, and as of last Tuesday it finally happened. The questions I wrote up with Teacher Pat proved extremely useful, and I am very excited to see what other information my future interviews will bring in. Jamal was able to give me a broad overview of the conflict from his perspective, as well as tell me the hardships of his own personal journey to the United States. If you are interested in watching it, I have attached a link to a teaser of the interview at the bottom of this post.
To sum things up, I have learned a lot this semester. From always double checking to ensure your video camera is on before conducting an interview to the value of persistence, the hands-on factor of this project has taught me so many things that cant be learned inside a classroom. I am immensely grateful for the opportunity I was given to study Syrian refugees this semester, and am looking forward to seeing where it will take me in the coming months!
Watch my interview with Jamal here