Friday, September 11, 2015
There's been a lot of publicity about the refugees from the war in Syria in refugee camps, making their way to Europe, and trying to find safe places to live. Very little is said about the people still trapped and living in Syria.
I recently made contact with a student I call Ali, who is still in Syria. He has had health problems, and whether those are caused by the stress of the situation he is in, or an underlying problem is not clear. What is clear is that his family are not able to leave until they know he is safe somewhere - the travel is too risky for him.
I looked at the reasons that someone can come to the UK legitamately. Ali could come on a medical visa, but he would need assessment in Syria and to have the money to pay for treatment in the UK. He'd have to leave as soon as treatment was finished, as this is one of the things you have to promise.
Alternatively, he could study at a university in the UK. He could do a foundation year for international students and then a degree course. In Syria he was part of the way through a law degree, but law tends to be restricted to the country in which you study, and so it would make sense to do another degree.
Before Ali can be given a visa, he needs the money to be able to prove he can support himself for the course of his degree. I have therefore opened a fundraiser, to raise money for Ali's tuition fees, living expenses and food. If you feel able to donate to the fundraiser, please do. If you do not, please share this with other people who might feel able to support it.