Hussein Akoush Goes to Columbia University!!

My name is Hussein Akoush and I am from a city in Northern Syria called Atarib. Before the Syrian revolution began, I was a hardworking student. I used to be top of my class but I was obliged to drop out of the School of Dentistry at Aleppo University in 2012 for fear of arrest by the Syrian Government due its violent response to the peaceful protests on campus.

During the war, I dedicated myself to peaceful activism against the brutal dictatorship of Bashar Al Assad, as I watched friends and family members and innocent civilians being ruthlessly killed. I taught myself English in order to better communicate with Western journalists and get our story out there. Facing a litany of death threats and constant bombardment, I was eventually forced to cross the border and settle in Turkey, where I began working as a freelance journalist. I've written for The Guardian and The Telegraph newspapers and contribute to the New Yorker and the New York Times. 

Recently, I was accepted at Columbia University in New York where I hope to study political science. Fortunately, I was awarded a partial scholarship from Columbia to cover half of the tuition but it is still not enough and that is why I am hoping you will make a donation to help pay for my first year of tuition. This is the opportunity of a lifetime. The education I will get at Columbia will give me the tools I need to serve my people and help my country when the time comes for it to rebuild.  

For many people, war leaves them angry and bitter and full of hate. For me, life's setbacks have made me stronger and motivated me to go on until my dream comes true.

Columbia has advised me that my expenses for my freshman year will be:

Tuition $27,328
Medical Insurance $4312
Living expenses $18,360 

Thank you so much!


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Clarissa Ward 
Palm Beach, FL
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