One of the great things about traveling with On the Street Videos is that it allows me to travel safely to places I might not otherwise be able to. For example, this week I am traveling to Syria, a place often featured in the news because of unrest in the country.
Curious about the country’s current state, I first log on to Foreign Text. I’m able to learn about current events and Syria’s culture while browsing recurring newspapers and magazines, and practice my Arabic while leafing through the collection of Syrian books.
I’ve been awfully busy with finals and the end of the school year coming up, but International Radio on SCOLA Mobile Apps allows me to listen to over 300 radio broadcasts from Syria so I can keep learning about my destination while also focusing on schoolwork.
Soon, I am ready to begin my next international adventure! I log on to On the Street Videos to begin my travels to Syria. My first stop is the Syrian border, where I am able to chat with locals, and visit residences in the area. Next, I am able to talk with Syrian refugees and learn what living in Syria was like.
My next stop is to see Syria from a different point of view. I visit an elementary school, where I am able to sit in on an education lesson with students, and see what the education system is like for children living in Syria.
My last stop in Syria is to meet with a young couple and experience what life is like for newlyweds in Syria. The couple tells me at what age people in Syria typically marry, how the engagement and wedding are arranged, and what customs and traditions they have. They tell me about traditions of the old days, then we discuss more modern traditions, the costs of the wedding, and the dowry in Islam. I thank the couple for their time and teaching me about their wonderful country of Syria, and in a matter of seconds I am back home on my couch, finishing homework and studying for finals….
Join me on my adventure by visiting www.scola.org and accessing your free trial!
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This summer, SCOLA received new material from Syria for our Foreign Text and International Radio services. We could not have acquired any of this information without our Syrian provider, Soza. Soza has been very active in sending us material for many of our services, including On the Street Videos and Savoir-Vivre.
Soza is 22 years old and from the northeastern city of Qamishli. A variety of people, including Muslims, Assyrians, Armenians, Arabs, Kurds and Christians live peacefully in Qamishli. Soza speaks Kurdish, Arabic, English, and Turkish. She would like to learn French one day as well. Soza had to learn Turkish when her family took refuge in Turkey as a result of the Syrian war. Because of her language skills she was able to get a job as a translator at a Turkish trading company and there she learned Turkish.
The war has been hard on Soza because she lost one of her best friends in it and it has prevented her from continuing her education. Soza was in her fourth year of studying Psychology at Damascus University, but she had to quit because of the war. Someday she hopes to go back.
Soza has also volunteered for the Syrian Society for Social Development in her free time. The society aims to rehabilitate prisoners under the age of eighteen. She currently volunteers with a variety of other charities that help Syrian refugees. Soza has also previously worked as an Arabic and English teacher.
Soza’s favorite SCOLA services are International Radio, Savoir-Vivre, On the Street Videos, Language Training Materials, Foreign Text and People and Places. Soza’s hobbies include photography and music. The photos in this post were all taken by her. Soza also enjoys teaching students about her language and culture. Soza says she will continue working with her charities and hobbies because that is what she treasures.
SCOLA appreciates the material Soza sends and we appreciate the fact that she is helping our subscribers learn so much about Syria and the Arabic language.
To view the material Soza and other providers from around the world have sent visit http://www.scola.org.