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Wonderful Rima loving school in Tipperary Town

Published 4 weeks ago 30th June 2021 by Caitriona Kenny

World Refugee Day took place on June 20th and with thirteen refugee families taking up residence in Tipperary Town in the past year, The Premier interviewed Rima, a 6th class pupil at St Michael’s Girls NS to discover how she has settled into her new school.

Rima’s family is from Syria where she lived for three years before they moved to Jordan seeking a better life and stability.

Syrian sisters Rima and Mera at St. Michael’s Girls N.S.

As of the 2015 census, 1.4 million Syrian refugees are present in Jordan. The kingdom is also a refuge to thousands of Iraqi Christians fleeing persecution by ISIL, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant also known as ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Rima Al Kurde was 12-year’s old when she joined St Michael’s Girls NS, Tipperary Town. “We left Jordan because there was little work and my school was expensive. There were free schools but my parents wanted the best for me, my sister and my brother and to build a beautiful future. My parents sold their belongings and their friends brought them to the airport. The flight took eight hours.”

Rima’s sister Mera was 6-years old when they came to Tipperary and joined 1st class in St Michael’s GNS and her brother Othman went into 4th class at the Monastery. Rima loves school in Ireland. “I love PE, Math, Science and Art and I have a lovely teacher and friends here. At school in Jordan I learnt Arabic, which was my favourite subject. I also did Science, Math, History, Geography and other subjects just like Ireland. We also had lots of tests throughout the school year in Jordan.”

Rima will be going to St. Ailbe’s Secondary School in September.

Ms. Áine Morrow spoke very highly about Rima. “It was clear to me from the start that Rima was longing for school and very enthusiastic for learning. She is a wonderful girl, a great addition to the classroom, who is brave and kind and makes friends easily. Rima is very polite and respectful with an excellent attitude to give things a go and fully immerse herself in everything new. She even gave the Irish language a good go and was happy to become a member of the student council. Rima had learnt some English before she came to Tipperary but if there were translation issues she used her tablet. In class one day we were discussing emotions and the most important to Rima was stability.”

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