THEY’VE each fled war-torn countries, but three young refugee women are looking to the future and hoping to use scholarships to enter futures in the medical sphere.
Friends Alaa Krayem, Hadeel Alnashy and Ramsina Oshana met at Bankstown Intensive English Centre and were three of 270 students awarded with the Public Education Foundation’s Friends of Zainab scholarship.
The scholarship, worth $1000 over two years, is to help refugee students in public education. All three would like to study to be on the front line of medicine.
For Lakemba student Alaa Krayem, 21, the scholarship is helping her rebuild a life in Australia.
Ms Krayem had begun two years of an economics degree in Damascus, Syria, when she was forced to flee to Australia through Turkey one year ago.
She is currently studying health science and nursing at Western Sydney University but hopes to one day be a cardiologist.
“There are no words to express the feeling — it’s really meaningful to us,” Ms Krayem said of the scholarship.
“Whatever you achieved in the past, you have to start fresh … so this scholarship makes things easier.”
Hadeel Alnashy, 21, had also begun studying medicine in Iraq but was forced to stop when her family, from minority religious group the Mandaeans, came to Australia and settled in Liverpool.
Her family shares a type of genetic cancer and she hopes to become a doctor specialising in cancer research at WSU.
Ramsina Oshana, of Fairfield, has only been in Australia for one year and is in Year 10 at Bankstown Senior College.
The scholarship pays for education expenses, including internet connection, technology expenses and elective course fees.
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