HeyU Issue 54 - 24 April - Page 33

When Sazan was just eight years old, she moved from Iraq with her family to seek asylum as a refugee in Australia. Now, back living in Iraq with her partner and 17-month-old, Sazan is an inspiring and remarkable young woman. Undertaking a Doctor of Philosophy, working, being a mother to a toddler and living over 11 500km from Australia, Sazan certainly has a lot to juggle in her everyday life. Sazan decided to study the Doctor of Philosophy because she wanted to inform people, the decision makers, policy implementers and large organisations, about how important education is in a humanitarian context. To do this, she knew she would need to have the research to back herself. Sazan’s doctoral research topic is peer education in humanitarian context and by living in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, she is surrounded by her research topic every day. With four of the five countries surrounding the Kurdistan Region currently involved in war, Sazan leads a very different life compared to when she lived in Australia. Sazan works for organisations that involves creating programs and projects for young people (girls in particular) who are internally displaced persons (IDPs) or refugees. Every day she is faced with overwhelming challenges, but what keeps her going is her passion. Sazan knows that even small things can change people’s lives, leading to a happier and healthier future. Through her research, Sazan has come to the realisation that the majority of social, economic, personal and political issues the Kurdistan society is confronted with stem from the poor education system. This poor education system has impacted previous generations, this generation and, if nothing changes, it will affect future generations too. By being back in Iraq, Sazan has realised how much people in places like Australia take having an education for granted. For Sazan, having an education means much more than obtaining a degree, ‘Education is future, opportunities and hope’. It’s about being educated to deal with life decisions, be who and where you want to be and havin g the opportunity to achieve anything you set your mind to. Sazan strives to ensure the people in the Kurdistan Region are provided with an education so that they too can make healthy life decisions. When we asked Sazan what she hopes to be doing in 10 years, one of her responses was, ‘I want to earn enough to empower those who were not as fortunate as I was, to be able to have a hand in reforming the education in this country.’ With self-encouragement being her best friend, Sazan’s key advice to other students is ‘to do something, anything, every day’. This advice has kept Sazan going in her research and work. Every day, Sazan continues to make a difference in her community, whether it’s through her research, work or through showing the world the Kurdistan Region via her Twitter and blog channels. Sazan is an inspiring person who strives to help create a brighter future. She encourages others to achieve their dreams and to make their own life decisions. With an end goal in sight, there is no doubt that Sazan will have a significant impact on the Kurdistan Region in changing people’s lives by creating a safer and brighter future for generations to come. If Sazan’s story has inspired you, check out USQ’s other HeyU feature stories.