‘I can copy her work’: Mother and son who fled Syria begin degree - on same course at same university

‘I can copy her work’: Mom and son who fled Syria start diploma – on identical course at identical college

A mom and son who fled the Syrian Civil Struggle in 2015 have each began levels this week – on the exact same course at the exact same college.

Manal Rawaeh, 47, and Bilal Batous, 18, are finding out biomedical science at Nottingham Trent College, in what’s considered the one mother or father and little one within the nation to successfully be in the identical college class.

“Can we sit subsequent to one another in lectures?” says Bilal. “After all! Her chemistry is superb, so I can copy her work.”

“No, no,” responds Manal. “Bilal’s English is best than mine so, truly, he helps me greater than I do him.”

Loads of youngsters may discover it a drag being at school with their mom. “Yeah, sure,” laughs Bilal. “At first, I feel I have to run from this. However what we now have gone via, you realise how vital household is; how dependent you might be on them.”



I used to go to her [Manal] on the hospital as a child; I’m a nosy individual so I’d be asking what everybody was doing. I discovered it attention-grabbing, you understand, serving to individuals via science – this can be a great point

Bilal on why he selected to check biomedical science

Undoubtedly, the pair have had fairly some journey to the labs and lecture halls of Nottingham from their earlier dwelling in Idlib – a one-thriving metropolis now devestated by preventing which continues even as we speak.

They themselves fled in 2015. Up till that time, the struggle had felt actual however distant. Then a shell dropped from a airplane destroyed the condominium block subsequent to their very own.

“Terrifying,” remembers Manal, who had labored as a lab technician in a neighborhood hospital. “Many lifeless. Twenty-two individuals. They’d nothing to do with the struggle however have been killed by the federal government anyway. After that – with youngsters – how will you keep? 4 years [the war had been going on] however seeing that…I received’t overlook it.”

Manal and Bilal’s condominium block within the seconds after a neighbouring complicated was destroyed by a authorities shell

(Manal Rawaeh)

The household – that’s Manal and Bilal in addition to dad Amjad, a postal employee, and two extra sons – crossed the border into Turkey the place they lived for a 12 months earlier than being moved to the Gedling space of Nottinghamshire in 2016 beneath the Syrian Resettlement Programme.

None of them might communicate English at that time however all of them took classes and grafted arduous. Inside three years, Bilal had handed his GCSEs. Inside one other two, he’d nailed a B-tech in science together with A-Ranges in Arabic and Sociology.

Manal, in the meantime, was suggested that, if she needed to do lab or hospital work within the UK, she would want a level from a British college to accompany the one she has from the College of Damascus.

And, so, as timing would have it, they each started making use of for diploma programs on the identical time.

Did they imply to finish up finding out collectively? Not precisely. Bilal initially deliberate to go to Manchester however in the end determined he needed to remain at dwelling with mum and pop. Partially due to every little thing the household had been via – “but in addition, as a result of this implies I get to avoid wasting cash.”

Will they do that almost all well-known of pupil actions and socialise collectively?

“If mum’s down for coming to occasions, I’m down for that, yeah,” says Bilal. “She’s enjoyable to be round. Very cultured. I feel she will be able to combine it with youthful individuals.”

He selected bio-medicine as a result of he had been impressed by Manal again in Idlib. “I used to go to her on the hospital as a child,” he says. “I’m a nosy individual so I’d be asking what everybody was doing. I discovered it attention-grabbing. , serving to individuals via science – this can be a great point.”

Precisely how uncommon their scenario is stays one thing of an unknown.

Steve Denton, Nottingham Trent College’s chief working officer, says he is by no means recognized something prefer it there, though a mom and daughter, Diane and Azra Queen, each graduated in criminology and psychology from Coventry College in 2016.

Both method, for Manal and Bilal, they’re excited for the following 4 years. Will there be competitors for who will get one of the best grades? “No, no,” she says. “He’s my son and my good friend. We each do one of the best we are able to.”

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