On February 2nd, 2013, two students from the Faculty of International Studies received recognition for a report they submitted to the “International Cooperation Reports Category” at the recent “Global Education Symposium”. The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) sponsors the event to elicit works that can be used in international education. The co-authors are 4th year student Ms. TAKE Akie and 3rd year student Ms. NAGUMO Chinami. They are members of “Sadaqa”, a Japanese organization dedicated to helping Syrians displaced by the recent violence in their homeland. Ms. Nagumo attended as representative of “Sadaqa” to accept the award.
Overview of the Recognized Report
Award of Excellence in the 2012 “International Cooperation Report Category”
Title: “Hearing the Voices of the Syrian People Through Everyday Life and Support Activities in Syria.”
Organization/Representative: “Syrian Support Association Sadaqa”/ Mr. TAMURA Masafumi.
“The political movement commonly known as “Arab Spring” started in Tunisia and then moved to nearby countries. Syria was no different: The “Arab Spring” wave hit in the middle of 2011, and as yet it shows no signs of receding. Many Syrians have been displaced from their homes by the fighting, and have fled to neighboring countries. This report recounts the experiences of two Meiji Gakuin students who visited Jordan in August-September 2012. As members of Sadaqa, they met a number of displaced Syrians in Ma’an. A JICA member who had worked in the region ten years ago introduced them to Jordanians who provide refugee relief to Syrians in the area. Perhaps due to this connection, the interviewed Syrians openly spoke of loosing relatives and homes as they fled the violence. Others said they had to return to Syria regardless of the dangers since they suffered daily from a lack of paid work, but they always expressed their belief that Syria would return to stability. The fieldwork was an opportunity to listen to the voices of Syrians that are not often heard. It brought into focus the events in Syria and it gave the students pause to reflect upon peace and democracy. They hope their report will be a valuable record for Syrians when they begin to rebuild their country.”