Team Hope (Refugees) 2019

We are a group of young Syrian refugees in Lebanon who did not lose hope and ambition despite the difficult circumstances we faced after fleeing to Lebanon. Some of us have succeeded in continuing their education in Lebanese schools, while others are still trying to get formal education, which will not easy at all. These obstacles and difficulties were the reason for our desire to learn something new, something different from the traditional education we were accustomed to learning in Syria. We wanted something unique, creative and challenging that could be a combination of more than skill and more than one area of knowledge. So we decided to start STEM education and enrolled in MAPs courses that helped us surpass traditional learning and adopt a new creative process. We started the course “LEGO Robotics” and then we managed to find the “Hope Syria” team.

In 2016, 2017 and 2018 Team Hope participated in many competitions in Lebanon, the Arab world and the world. Most have achieved advanced positions and numerous awards. For example, the team participated in many competitions in Lebanon “VEX VRC Lebanon – EDR” and won first place in “LIU – Bekaa – Lebanon/ Championship Award”, in addition to achieving the ninth place in the Arab Doha competition out of 100 ”Against All Odds Award“. In the end, our participation in the world in many competitions, the most important of which is the achievement of the 55th position among the 1040 competitors in USA, and was awarded the ”Inspire Award” in Louisville, Kentucky USA on 26 April 2018. These many successes have motivated us to develop our robot skills and encouraged us to pursue more successes in the future. In 2018 Team Hope travelled to Mexico, where we earned 1st place in “Courageous Achievement”, followed by the “Inspire Award” at the VEX-USA competition. In 2019, the team successfully completed their third VEX-Robotics Championship in the USA, earning the “Sportsmanship Award”

Our small group shattered the stereotypes of the word “refugees” and served as a tribute to Syrian youth and the host community in Lebanon, and showed the great influence of motivation and perseverance in achieving success and overcoming all obstacles. For us, what really matters is to continue to walk and keep improving ourselves and empowering our Syrian society. This is why “Hope Syria” continues to work and develop our talents and techniques to participate again in local and international competitions to focus on the whole world that if you decide to be successful, there is nothing that can stop you, even if you are called a “refugee”. We hope to participate and win again and encourage all Syrian youth to realize their own potential and prepare to participate in rebuilding their country in Syria when we return soon.

Maher El Assawi
I am interested in robotics because the world is heading towards this field and I have passion and love for the STEM industry. I participated in the FGC 2017 and 2018 and I want to participate again to represent refugees around the world and show our ability to innovate and modernize development.

Ammar Kabbour
My dream is to be a mechatronics engineer. I love programming because most of our life has become automated. Learning robotics is now very important. It’s my honor to represent refugees and show the world that even if we are out of our countries, we can still achieve high levels in robotics.

Salam Al Farekh
I’m 15 years old. I like drawing. I chose the robotics domain because it is enjoyable and easy. I hope to be a detective or a policewoman.

Youssef Shaaban
I’m 18 years old, I graduated from the high school this year. I like programming, it’s my favorite hobby. I chose the robot to improve my mechanics skills. I believe that the robot will make a big change to me in the future and I want to make an action in this change by programming and  making robots. I believe in a saying “you don’t know what you don’t know”. Sharing the robotics team and building robots will add something new to my life. I hope to become the best Internet Security Engineer and I have a great passion in this specialty.

Amina Kabbour
I’m 15 years old, I’m a painter. I entered the robotics domain because everything now is depending on technology and programming. I’m very excited to be a part of this team and show the world the ability of every refugee and we hope to be the winners of this competition.

Mohammad Hamza Ammar (Coach):
My name is Mohammad Hamza Ammar from Damascus, Syria. I am a computer engineer, a supervisor, and a trainer in MAPS organization who helps Syrian refugees to be updated with modern technology including programming, microcontrollers, and robotics. Last two years, I participated in different robotics and science competitions with different platforms like VEX, LEGO, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and others to get the important experience in robotics domain and provide it for students, especially the refugees. Helping refugees to get the best-qualified knowledge is my main purpose. The FGC is one of the most important robotics competitions around the world, and we are going to improve that refugees can make the impossible!

Team Leader, Dr. Fadi Halabi (Neurosurgeon – Business Administration):
General director and founder of MAPS NGO. I hope that through Team Hope we can give and bring hope to all refugees around the world and for each one forced to leave their country. And we can deliver our vision for the international community and the entire human family, that a refugee is capable of achieving the impossible and high-quality achievements and changing the stereotypical image towards them.

Yamen Alnajjar (Technical Mentor):
I work at MAPS (the organization that founded hope team), and I have to share my knowledge with those who need it. Representing refugees around the world is my honor. If there is a chance to prove refugees’ ability to learn and work hard and succeed and excel, we will not miss it! We have lost our homeland, but we have not lost our minds. Yes, we can…

2017 Team Video

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