Abdel-Aziz, who was born in Syria’s northeastern city of Qamishli, switched from Damascus University’s Faculty of Science to join the institute. The move “was a qualitative leap in my life,” she told Al-Fanar Media in a Zoom interview. “That’s because of the intersection of dramatic arts studies with writing techniques that I loved since childhood.”
However, Abdel-Aziz aspires to leave Syria to complete her postgraduate studies abroad, as there are no such programs in the theatrical arts at Syrian universities and institutes.
“This shortage, as well as the decline in the number of art students in Syria, should encourage donor institutions to launch more scholarships, covering all fields of arts at different levels of study,” she said.
Inspired by Students’ Dreams
Ettijahat’s AJYAL programme has so far enabled 24 Syrians, at home and abroad, to pursue education in all fields of the arts, by fully or partly covering the costs of their studies with scholarships with values between $1,200 and $4,000, said Christine Youakim, the programme’s manager.
The latest round of grant recipients was announced earlier this year, with awards going to six Syrians who will study in Damascus and two who will study in Europe.
“The dreams of dozens of Syrian students to complete their art studies are the main motive behind the launch of the programme,” Youakim told Al-Fanar Media, speaking from Beirut via Zoom. “Indications show that the financial factor plays a major role in forcing art students to drop out, given the stressful study requirements that require a full-time dedication.”