Mariana is a 21-years old Palestinian refugee from Rif Dimashq, Syria. Her family came to Lebanon in 2012, after the war started in Syria reached her area. There were killings, raping of girls, and kidnappings. "The situation became stressful, frightening, unstable, and unsafe. So my family decided that we must flee."
The idea of going to Lebanon was very frightening because of the uncertainty of what awaited them. "We didn’t know where we are going to live, where to stay, if my father would find a job or not, would we continue our studies or not, or even if my sick sister will get her treatment or not?" She registered at an UNRWA school, but the curriculum was very difficult for her since it was different from her Syrian curriculum. She adds, "I was devastated, but I refused to surrender to reality or to the obstacles that I’m going through. I’ve decided to be strong, get off my knees, and build my future with my own two hands." That’s when she registered at JCC, starting from scratch with the help of the teaching staff, learning the Arabic curriculum as it is taught in Syria. She went to Syria and passed the exams, then she applied at the Lebanese University. She is now in her third year of studying law. She emphasizes that “My family and JCC supported me, they were very proud of me that I didn’t give up although I’ve faced many difficulties in continuing my study. Even now they still support me and I’m very grateful for that."
"When I come back to Syria I would continue my career as a lawyer and would specialize in defending women’s rights, women who had lost their husbands and did not get their rights. It means a lot to support and solve these kinds of cases."