Maryam | Aswat Seenaryo participant

Maryam is 14 years old, from Qalamoon in Syria, near Damascus. She moved to Lebanon four years ago because of the war. Maryam has participated in a variety of Seenaryo’s Participation & Education programmes including: Cultural Trips, Showbuilds, Aswat Seenaryo choir and Creative English. In her time with us over the last two years we have seen her grow into an incredibly confident and capable young woman.

Here’s what she shared with our co-director, Victoria Lupton, in June 2017:

“I live in Majdal Anjar in the Bekaa Valley. I like Lebanon because it’s close to Syria and I feel like I could go home anytime. I don’t like the idea of travelling because if I move country maybe I’d never come back.

My life here is very different from my life in Syria; I’ve become more conscientious and had access to more experiences here, like with Seenaryo. I would return to Syria if the war ended, but right now I would never go back. It’s just my parents and me here, all my relatives are in Syria.

I’m in the eighth grade, studying at an official Lebanese school where the curriculum is taught in English. I’m in the afternoon shift with other Syrian children. I like physics and biology best – I’d like to be a doctor in the future.

The first programme I did with Seenaryo was Cultural Trips to Beirut. They were amazing and I discovered a lot about art. I particularly enjoyed visiting Sursock Museum because I learnt about old life and traditions.

I then performed in ‘Small Dreams’, a Showbuild play with Seenaryo. It was great! I had never done a play before that – it was my first experience of performing in front of an audience. My favourite thing in the play was the dancing and the songs – all the music was excellent. When I’m onstage I feel like everyone wants to see me and hear what I have to say. I feel proud of my work.

Now I’m doing Creative English and I sing in Aswat Seenaryo choir. Here in Lebanon English is so important. If you want to travel or speak with people, English is key. In school it’s all about grammar, but with Seenaryo it’s much easier to learn and speak because we do lots of fun games and exercises.”