The current financial crisis has American college students worried about the cost of their education and ability to obtain a job after graduation.
However, young adults in Iraq have something far worse to worry about-getting a college education at all.
Iraqi students, whether in Iraq or refugees in Lebanon or Syria, must be concerned for their lives due to the extreme violence in their country, and that is why a majority of college-aged Iraqis have stopped their education.
Imagine having spent your whole high school career working to get into the college of your dreams. Then because of war you must pass up the chance to further your education and help rebuild their country. Students are literally risking their life to attend what few universities are still open in Iraq and the once top-notch educational system is falling apart.
In 2003, when the American force invaded Iraq, the structure of the country was destroyed. The war sent millions of innocent citizens fleeing their homes. As the war continued, opportunities
such as college were rarely possible for students, and most have stopped their education to protect their safety.
Iraqi students who were at the top of their class and dreamt of being doctors, lawyers and teachers are unable to pursue their dreams because of the state of their country. But how can a small private college in Pennsylvania help a whole country? The answer Loquitur proposes is to consider pledging to take on the financial responsibility to host two Iraqi students through their undergraduate degree.
The Loquitur covers global social justice issues each week to illuminate for these issues for the Cabrini community. But is knowledge without action enough? Last year when editors introduced the Iraqi Student Project to the Cabrini community, it was their vision to have two Iraqi students begin their college education here at Cabrini College this fall.
Currently 14 college and universities host Iraqi students who applied through ISP. Why is Cabrini College not one of them? Isn’t acting for social justice what the Cabrini mission truly means?
The financial burden may be great for our college, but what we would gain culturally would certainly outweigh the costs.
We realize that offering scholarships to these students may create a great expense for our college, but besides supporting social justice with courses and activities, accepting Iraqi students would also benefit the college and would outweigh the costs.
When Ken Hackett, the president of Catholic Relief Services, spoke at Cabrini last year, he said, “We launched the invasion, and we have, in my opinion, a tremendous responsibility to help those people.”
The Iraq war has affected the structure of the whole country and for them to rebuild they must have strong and intelligent leaders, but where will these leaders come from if we do not allow them an education?