A presentation on the topic of ‘refugees’ evidently touched a nerve – St Gilgen private school donated 2,000 Euros to the aid organisation

Reflections on StGIS Inspiring People Volume 5 – Jordan Hattar

Interesting workshops, presentations and background knowledge on the topic of refugees impressed the students at St Gilgen International School. The private school welcomed two special guests, American Jordan Hattar (25), founder of the aid organisation and Saria Samaki (21) a refugee from Syria, for a four-day visit. Both guests spoke about their experiences in the past few years.

The content of each workshop, tailored to the age of the students, was organised by Leaza May, Head of World Studies and teacher of Economics at St Gilgen International School. “Our students were deeply moved by the life stories and experiences of our guests, who were both visiting Austria for the very first time”, Leaza May explained, delighted with the positive response from the students. “The aim of our private school is to teach our students to be open-minded and to raise tolerant individuals. Presentations like this help us enormously to achieve that.”

Jordan Hatter, who has been giving presentations since 1981, has visited over 15 countries and with his aid organisation ( helps refugee camps on the border with Syria, as well as the world’s biggest refugee camp Zaatari in Jordan, supplying medical aid and special living containers. The enormous “container village” Zaatari, is located in the Jordanian desert and is, at present with almost 80,000 inhabitants, the fourth largest town in Jordan.

Saria Samika was kidnapped and tortured by Assad soldiers in 2012 at the age of 15 for no reason. He tells powerfully of his release and subsequent kidnapping by Rebels, who suspected he was a spy. After a close call with death, he managed to flee to Jordan. Today, Saria lives with his family in Amman and attends one of the best schools in Jordan, to which he won a scholarship. Students, parents, teachers and sponsors of St Gilgen International School decided to contribute to the cause. They raised a total of 2,000 Euros to support, which will enable the aid organisation to provide children in refugee camps with medical supplies. “We shall remain in contact with Jordan Hattar and Saria Samika and in 2018 we would like to continue to host more workshops” Leaza May explained. 

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