Syrian immigrant building better future with architecture offer

Syrian immigrant building better future with architecture offer

Trafford College student Mays Alhabbal has been offered a place to study architecture at university to follow her dream of rebuilding her country – two years after leaving her home in Syria.

Mays had to cut short the final year of her studies in Damascus because of fighting between separatist groups. Her school moved and she did her homework by candlelight due to the many power cuts that could last between 16 and 17 hours each day.

“It wasn’t safe,” the 20-year-old from Burnage explained. “There was the threat of bombing at any time and you could always hear the sounds of gunfire. People were getting kidnapped and killed.

“Food was getting really expensive, there was no water and we had this feeling of, if we left home would we get back?”

When Mays arrived in the UK in 2017, she enrolled at Trafford College’s dedicated A-Level department in Altrincham in Chemistry, Maths and Art, receiving help from student support with her application to pursue her ambition of studying architecture at university.

“It’s really hard to see the country falling apart. I always say to my mum, I want to do architecture and one day go back and help with the rebuilding process.

 “Trafford College has been very supportive from its teachers to its pastoral officers. I could ask my tutors anything.

“Because of all the assessments and mock exams we had, I went into my A-Level exams with confidence. I’m really proud of myself. A-Levels are really hard and totally different from what I’d been used to in my own country.”

Mays has been predicted top grades for her A-Levels and received a Trafford College Student of the Year Award for the effort she has put into her studies.

Head of A-Levels at Trafford College, Bernadette Barnett, said: “Since joining the College, Mays has gone from strength to strength and has shown herself to have great depth of character and resilience.

“She is a highly promising student with a clear passion for the built environment. She’s destined to do well in the future.”