Back to School

Most kids in the Middle East are busy getting into the swing of a new school year right now - a fresh year of possibilities ahead to make new friends, learn new things, and dream about their futures.

But for Syrian refugee children, this time reminds them of what they've lost:  the homes they left behind, their schools, and their friends - who might be alive or dead. They are reminded of the life they used to live - the normal life of a normal kid going to a normal school - without a war!

Many Syrian children of war have been out of school for years -...MORE

Our Response to Syria - from Curt Rhodes

Syria is in the news a lot these days. And it's a place where I've spent a lot of time. It was a country of artists, engineers, teachers, people who had dreams and plans. Their children played under the shade of old trees along the edges of streets and their young people gathered in dozens of brightly-lit internet coffee shops at night. Before fighting broke out in 2011, Syria's population was 22 million. 

Today, half those Syrians have been forced to flee their homes. 7.6 million are now displaced within Syria and 4 million have become refugees in...MORE

Za’atari Youth Center: A Space for Change

On September 15, we officially launched the new Questscope Youth Center in the Za’atari Camp for Syrian refugees in northern Jordan. The Center—whose funders include the UN and the Middle East Broadcasting Corporation (MBC)—will engage 500 Syrian youth in recreational, educational, artistic/cultural, and psycho-social activities. The entire program has been designed and led by our dynamic team of Syrian volunteers inside the camp.

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Caring for the Other Refugees

via The New York Times 

The world’s attention has been riveted on the refugee crisis unfolding in Europe, and on the shift in Europe as leaders, finally, take steps to deal with it. But one of the reasons Syrians are risking their lives to reach Europe is that life has become unbearable in the countries closer to home where many have taken refuge.

About 12 million Syrians — more than half the country’s prewar population — have been displaced...MORE

Remember Us

This is a reflection written by Nadia Schroeder, daughter of Curt Rhodes, after she visited Zaatari Camp a few weeks ago.

“What would you like Americans to know? What is your message to Americans?” We asked a group of Syrian refugees in the Zaatari Refugee Camp. “Syrians love life.” “And we are fahmaneen,” which means “we are not ignorant, but rather perceptive, cultured, and knowledgeable.”

This was a statement we heard many times throughout the day we spent at Zaatari. “We are not, as many view us, ‘pathetic and uneducated refugees’” one young man in...MORE

Walking the Walk

The transformative influence of a leader is not who she is in her public performance and duty, but who her family and close friends see her to be in private. Walking the walk and not just talking the talk marks the difference between nice words, or transformation. The Questscope family struggles to make sure that we are not just talking, but actually experiencing and sustaining transformation. This is the story of one of our staff who is being transformed. And because of that, her life, who she is, transforms others.

I have always dreaded the days…those moments…when the need to...MORE

Why They Came Back

It was just a routine visit when I attended a class in one of our Non-Formal Education (NFE) centers. I wasn’t really focused on what was happening in the lesson. All my attention was devoted to watching these young children: observing how they talk, react, and smile. This is a group of kids who have seen the worst the world has to offer. Poverty and trauma from the war have made their lives fragile and chaotic, and most are struggling to just survive. Yet they come back to this class each day. I couldn’t help but wonder: why?

The children who attend Questscope’s NFE program have...MORE

Tiny Spark

The Syrian Civil War hit girls especially hard. They should be safe in their own neighborhoods, studying for school and doing things with their friends. Instead, they watched their homes destroyed by rockets and their families torn apart as they fled for safety.     

Refugee families that were loving and stable before the war are fracturing under exhausting daily struggles. The burden on girls to help keep their families together forces them to grow up before they are mature enough to shoulder such responsibility. And they are often kept at home for their...MORE

The Month of Ramadan

The holy month of Ramadan took place this year from June 18 to July 16. The timing of this month of fasting from sunrise to sunset is based on the lunar Muslim liturgical calendar and varies from year to year.

It is marked by a refocus on spiritual life and includes recitations by children of the Holy Quran, much like Christian children reciting memorized Bible Verses in a spelling bee format. Successful "recitees" get certificates of recognition and gifts to encourage them to know and understand their religion. For 28 consecutive evenings, every "break-fast" is a shared meal with...MORE

Me/We and Questscope event to UN

Invisibility and voicelessness are two characteristics that plague refugee populations. The vibrant individual life story is too often obscured once a person has been labeled as a refugee. Questscope is committed to giving a platform to that individual voice and to partnering with organizations who share that same ideal.

About a year and a half ago, Questscope partnered with Me/We Syria. Founded by Mohsin Mohi-Ud Din and funded by the German government, Me/We Syria helps disadvantaged youth narrate their...MORE

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