When people ask me why I study computer science and information technology I can’t help but laugh. I mean, why does anyone do anything? I imagine that just I am excited by the complexities of the online world and the magic behind artificial intelligence, others are excited by their passions, whatever they may be. And then I remember that they do not ask why I study computer science because they think it is an interesting field, they ask because I am a woman. I am a woman and I am just as able as any man I know to study and excel in the computer science and technology sector. In fact, sometimes I think being a woman helps me do even better in this field because I am determined to prove not just my worth but the worth of all the incredibly strong and smart women in this world. My name is Dania, I am 23-years-old and I am a woman who believes in the power of education and the strength of women. Moreover, I believe that when you combine knowledge with confidence, remarkable things will follow. I am encouraged not only
It doesn’t matter if you are married, single, divorced, a mother, a sister or on your own – every woman can be successful in herself and should follow her dreams. We are wonderful, smart and mysterious creatures capable of doing everything. We can learn, work and study all while having a family and loving those around us. The notion of having to choose between one world or another makes no sense. You must always look on the bright side of both worlds in order to find a healthy balance. For me, optimism is the best quality one can have. If you are not optimistic you will not believe in your true potential nor will you embrace all the beautiful things life has to offer. I have a long road ahead before I reach my dream of getting my
I’m not saying it is always easy to follow your dreams, but if you give up what else do you have? It hasn’t always been easy for me either. I grew up in Damascus, Syria with a loving family. When I was 12 my father passed away which left me only with my brother, sister, and mother. My mother had to be strong for the family and I always admired her for this. Naturally, with the war, things changed. At first, it was more subtle. As time went on, I had to be more aware and the situation became increasingly dangerous. It was during my third year of studies at the University of Damascus where the occasional day of missing class became the norm due to the danger of being outside. I was studying information technology and I loved it. I had two years left and was heartbroken when I had to stop. We realized that things weren’t going to change any time soon, and staying in Damascus meant no future. So together with my brother and mother, I made my way to Germany. In August of 2015 we left home and after a long and gruesome 10-day journey through Turkey and Greece, we arrived in Germany. It’s funny how something so emotional can be so vivid yet blurry all at once.
I now live in a small city in Saarland called Riegelsberg. I like it much better here than the first place we lived. We were first in Marpingen, an even smaller village in the area with less opportunity and a smaller home. We have been lucky in our coming to Germany in that as a family we have stayed together and have met so many kind and helpful people along the way. One
Since being in Germany the only thing I wanted to do was to go back to university. I missed learning and was eager to find a way to get back to it. Transfering my credits from Syria wasn’t easy, and the bureaucratic system was so slow. But then I found Kiron and I felt a door had been opened. Instead of sitting around waiting to get recognition for my previous credits, I was able to study again! I studied with Kiron for my first year in Germany and I am so grateful for the opportunities it gave me. I took a lot of random courses, focusing mainly on computer science lessons to keep myself up-to-date. I even completed the entire track for German lessons in the first six months I was here! Without
I am taking a lot of artificial intelligence courses this semester and even working on a research project in medical technology on how we can use eye movement as a way for disabled persons to communicate – it’s so fascinating! Next semester I plan to focus on software engineering because a year from now I need to choose my specialty. I don’t know yet what I want to focus on but I do know that whatever I choose, I plan to do wholeheartedly. And once I get my bachelors, I will work on my Masters and eventually my
But most importantly, I am the daughter of an incredible woman who exudes love. My mother has always been a hard worker and even though she is struggling to grasp the German language, she is making friends, and even making use of her tailoring skills! Back in Syria, she worked as a seamstress making the most beautiful handmade dresses, and here in
Interview by Alisha Merkle // #Education4Integration campaign, sponsored by H&M Foundation