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Investing in the future: leaders for Syria  Syrian Arab Republic

20.04.2018 - Article

In the eighth year of war in Syria, an entire generation is at risk of growing up without prospects. To prevent this, Germany is financing degree courses at German universities for more than 200 talented young Syrians

Foreign Minister Maas with the Leadership for Syria scholarship holders
Foreign Minister Maas with the Leadership for Syria scholarship holders  © Florian Gaertner/photothek.net

Twenty-eight-year-old Mustafa Karahamad is one of the scholarship holders. He recently completed his studies in history and politics at the University of Siegen and hopes one day to be able to use what he has learned to benefit his home region once the crisis is over. He is a co-founder of the NGO Academpower, the goal of which is to support young Syrians with their training so that they can help rebuild their country. He is also an editor and writer for the English-Arabic news site MPC Journal.

Contributing to Syria's future

“Training young Syrians here in Germany is an investment in the future of Syria for the time when this terrible conflict will have come to an end,” Foreign Minister Heiko Maas emphasised at a meeting with the scholarship holders on 19 April. Margret Wintermantel, President of the German Academic Exchange Service, gave a positive assessment of the project: “The scholarship holders settled into the German universities quickly and have laid the foundation for a successful future. They are now in a position to make a significant contribution to shaping Syria’s future once the war there has come to an end.”

Preparing for reconstruction

Foreign Minister Maas speaking on the Leadership for Syria scholarship programme
Foreign Minister Maas speaking on the Leadership for Syria scholarship programme© Florian Gaertner/photothek.net

After completing their studies, Mustafa and his fellow scholarship holders intend either to continue their academic career by pursuing a doctorate or to first gain a foothold on the German labour market. This will help counteract the shortage of skilled workers in Germany – and at the same time the graduates acquire practical work experience which is ideal preparation for future employment in their home country. They are all engaged in many forms of social and voluntary activity and share the desire to play a key role in rebuilding their homeland.

Find out more

Speech by Foreign Minister Maas in the Bundestag on the situation in Syria
Diplomatic initiative for Syria: Maas meets EU Foreign Ministers

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