The doors to Zahra University have not even officially opened yet, but already the institution is receiving praise from media and educational publications.
The university, founded by Zakat Foundation of America, is focused on providing a quality education for Syrian students displaced from the conflict. The program offers courses in Arabic, which makes it easier for students to transition into the higher education system.
“Zahra University was founded by Zakat Foundation of America – a Muslim foundation – and takes its name from the third pillar of Islam, referring to systematic charitable giving.
The executive director of the foundation, Halil Demir, says the university hopes to create Syrian professionals who can rebuild their country and to prevent extremists from ensnaring more Syrian youth.
“Extremism is able to collect people because there’s no hope,” says Demir, the foundation’s executive director. “As long as humans have hope, they’ll resist. Giving university opportunities is a hope for them,” he added.