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“Frustration and fear are what we are feeling.”

GEM Lebanon student Hiyam discusses what it’s like to live and learn during the country’s economic and political crisis.

SNHU Global Education Movement (GEM) currently supports more than 1,500 refugee learnings across five countries — Lebanon, Kenya, Rwanda, Malawi, and South Africa.

While all of our GEM sites have unique challenges and opportunities, with the current economic and political crisis in Lebanon, many of our students are facing unprecedented challenges — from limited access to electricity to widespread unemployment. 

As students live, work, and learn in these challenging times, we wanted to share reflections from our students in Lebanon. Hiyam, a GEM student studying management with a concentration in logistics and operations, shares how she is coping with the economic distress facing her community while continuing to work toward her degree. 

 

Hear directly from Hiyam about the struggles she is facing as a student in Lebanon:

 

 

How would you explain the current crisis in Lebanon to people elsewhere in the world?

Imagine you are living in a country where your rights are deprived. There is no peace, no electricity, no medicine, no gas, no diesel, no petrol. For parents, there is no milk for the babies. Groups of people cut off the roads and steal money from others.  The unemployment risk has increased. This is Lebanon — this is truly Lebanon.

What is it like to be living, working, and studying in Lebanon right now?

Frustration and fear are what we are feeling these days. The situation in Lebanon has a big negative impact not only on studying, but also on working. For students, they don’t have enough time to study because there is no light, no internet, and no transportation. For those who are working, some of them have no income, and others’ income has decreased — their income is not enough to ensure home supplies. 

How is the current situation affecting your studies, and how have you been managing? What supports have you relied on?

The situation has had a great impact on my studying, especially that the internet and electricity are not available except for two or three hours. I have a battery that I use to see and study at night. Also, I have a router for the internet that I charge but when the charge empties, I can’t study. Sometimes I go to my parents’ house or my friends’ to use their laptop or generator.

Why is higher education important for you? Why are you pursuing your studies through SNHU GEM?

Education is the tool for me that will make me independent and improve my life. From my point of view, if you have a degree, you will have everything in life. Without education, life is a blank page. You can’t get a great job without a great education. I am pursuing my studies through SNHU. SNHU is a great university that builds strong, qualified, and successful students. I am thankful to get a scholarship from this university.

What advice would you give other students living, working, and learning in challenging circumstances?

I advise everyone to be patient and work hard. Don’t give up, stay motivated, and reach your maximum potential. Your degree is the most important thing for you.