KT Impact: Reader pays off Syrian refugee child's UAE school fees
Dubai - Six-year-old Mary Rahmoun has never been to school.
The life of a six-year-old Syrian refugee child in the UAE has taken a positive turn as a generous Khaleej Times reader has paid off her school tuition fee after we highlighted her plight.
The sponsor, who chose to remain anonymous, paid a tuition fee of Dh6,650 for Mary Rahmoun. She has never been to school, but this September, she will start attending classes at Al Noaymia Private School in Ajman - with the costs of her first year fully covered.
Also read: Syrian mother seeks free admission for 6-year-old daughter in UAE
Mary, her four siblings and her mother had been displaced in Idlib, Syria, and lived in a shelter for several weeks.
After her brother sustained severe burns to his head and face in an explosion nearby, they fled to Turkey and then moved to Ajman, where their father lives.
The Rahmoun household gets a monthly income of Dh4,500, which is hardly enough to pay for rent, schooling for all of the kids, and other bills.
The reader who generously paid the fees said: "Education is very close to my heart. What I am today, I owe to my education - most of it self-taught - but it started formally, in a school. I have experienced first-hand the tremendous impact that education can have on a person, their family, community, society and country.
"In Mary's case and broadly in the case of this family, I wanted to help because I did not want them to feel that the UAE did not care about them. We have great leaders and rulers in this country who have done much to help, but wouldn't it be nice if the small people like me could help out also?
"I wanted to show this family that empty platitudes were not enough (may God bless you, may God help you, or I will pray for you), and that the UAE is full of people who would help if given the opportunity."
Mary's mother, Fatima Rahmoun, thanked the reader for helping them and said her daughter is already getting her backpack ready for school.
She chose Al Noaymia Private School for Mary as her sons also attend this school, making transportation convenient for the family.
"It is a huge relief, knowing that Mary will now be going to school," Fatima said.
"My heart was breaking seeing her at home when her brothers would go to school. She would always pack her storybooks in a bag and say that she wants to go to school.
"We are already struggling to pay the fees for our other children, and it was impossible for us to pay for Mary's as well. Now, God has answered our prayers. God bless the man who has paid her fees."
This is not the first time Khaleej Times readers have stepped forward to help expats struggling to pay school fees.
In July, KT reported that our readers donated Dh45,000 for a Pakistani family in Ajman, whose four children hadn't been to school in nearly five years. The donations helped pay off a year's fees for two of the sisters, who are beginning their classes this September.