Education in Syria has faced significant challenges due to the crisis, resulting in the destruction of thousands of schools and a staggering number of children being unable to attend school.
Recent events, such as the closure of schools and universities following a major earthquake in February 2023, have further disrupted the education system. Addressing the varying academic levels of newly arrived Syrian refugees and bridging the education gap necessitates an adaptable and flexible approach, facilitating vocabulary learning, fostering dialogue, and preserving culture and language simultaneously.
Who are the Syrian people?
The Syrian people have a rich cultural and linguistic heritage developed over thousands of years in the Levant region of the Eastern Mediterranean. Despite the assimilation of various ethnic groups, the Arab majority prevails, and Arabic is predominantly spoken throughout the nation.
Unfortunately, the Syrian people have endured immense challenges in recent years due to the ongoing conflict. Tragically, the conflict, now in its twelfth year, has resulted in over 500,000 fatalities and the displacement of approximately 13 million people, with more than half of Syria’s pre-war population affected. This has led to 5.6 million refugees and around 6.2 million internally displaced Syrians, primarily seeking refuge in Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey.
What Languages Do They Learn?
In Syria, Modern Standard Arabic is the official language, accompanied by various spoken Arabic dialects like Mesopotamian, Levantine, Najdi, and Bedawi. The spoken Syrian language has been influenced by Aramaic, Syriac, Turkish, and French.
Our Syrian materials are available in Standard Arabic and English. The vocabulary works in three ways –
- To provide introductory English vocabulary for those coming to countries where English may be a necessity.
- To preserve Modern Standard Arabic for those who have fled their country and want to maintain their language, especially for the second and third generations.
- To provide resources for non-native Arabic speakers who wish to learn Arabic and communicate effectively with Syrians.
What’s Special about Books Unbound’s Materials?
Our Syrian cultural coloring books are unique because everything is contextualized to Syrian culture. We work alongside cultural assistants in the community to create contextualized coloring books for kids as a means of assisting the integration process of Syrian refugees.
The cartoon characters in the coloring book are based on reference photos of Syrian people, and the cartoons and scenes are verified by community members to ensure cultural diversity in Syria. These culturally sensitive materials were made in order to preserve the beauty of Syria and provide tailored resources for families as they deal with displacement and integrate into a new country.