Hamza, a ninth grade student, was having difficulty understanding certain mathematical processes and formulae, so Zeina who is the director of the after-school club in Damascus called “Kid’s House”, had the idea of asking two of her companions to help him, instead of the teachers.
As soon as she shared her idea, Maria and Rivana, two students who are very good at mathematics, offered to help him and meet Hamza every day after school for a week.
Watching them work together, it was clear to see how dedicated they all were to the project, until Hamza was able to understand the mathematical processes he had missed and carry on the mathematics course with all the others.
Zeina’s idea showed the young people through experience what “reciprocity” means: not only accepting help and support, but also being able to give it back to others by offering them their time, attention and care.
The experience of these three young people also highlights other important values: Hamza learned to ask for help and had the humility to accept it from two girls which is still not always accepted in their society or other societies. Furthermore, Maria and Rivana are Christians and Hamza is Muslim but this did not stop them from working together, asking for help and giving a hand to a friend in need.
In a place like Syria where the war and international sanctions have had a serious impact on the lives of those left behind, these experiences of projects supported by AMU instill and nourish hope for peace and reconstruction built on “new” rules where each one of us is a protagonist.