S T A R

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S.T.A.R History:

Student Action For Refugees (S.T.A.R), abbreviated and most commonly known amongst The American University in Cairo (AUC) students as S.T.A.R realizes these adversities, and works to make refugees feel more at-home, far from home. S.T.A.R is a transnational, student-run, non-profit organization started in 1994 by post-graduate students in Nottingham University in the United Kingdom (UK) who also had, more or less the same purport for aiding refugees. The start-up S.T.A.R group grew "within the boundaries of the UK" to include 29 other groups, eventually becoming an officially-registered organization, and elevating S.T.A.R, Cairo to be its 30th S.T.A.R group. Barbra Harrell-Bond, currently a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Forced Migration and Refugee Studies Programme, American University in Cairo, brought the project to Egypt in 2001.

S.T.A.R Goals:

According to an interview conducted with S.T.A.R president, Marwa Fikry, S.T.A.R commits to three goals that address and aim to overcome fundamental difficulties of refugees in Egypt. S.T.A.R goals are implemented in the types of programs it offers to refugees (Fikry). These programs include:
-Educational support for the refuge community: Adult education is not available and legally permissible for refugees in Egypt. Education for children is only provided through all-refugee schools such as the all-Sudanese school: Al-Ghamra. The English-language program, supports this mission, and enables refugees to pass the barrel of education by learning an international language such as the English language. Music and handcrafts classes are also taught. This last point will later be iterated, and further commented-on.
- Income-generating opportunities: Egypt signed the 1951 Organization of African Unity (OAU) Conventions, which dictated and clarified, as a collective agreement amongst African countries questions and conditions of refugee asylum, repatriation, resettlement, treatment, and education (refugee convention). Egypt, however entered reservations for articles 20 and 22-24 of this convention which granted rights of higher education, and labor, respectively (Harrell-bond).
The before-mentioned classes i.e. music and handcrafts are taught by a Sudanese and an Eritrean teacher respectively. The products of the handcraft projects are sold, and profits go directly to the refugees who made the product.
See S.T.A.R Events for the next time refugees will sell their handcrafts.
-Raising Awareness about the refugee cause: S.T.A.R reaches out to the AUC community to raise awareness about the refugees. Although not many Egyptian students at AUC are aware of S.T.A.R, it is either because there aren’t enough mediums to impart what S.T.A.R is and does or that Egyptian students simply "do not care", Fikry says (Fikry). Even though Fikry realizes that S.T.A.R does not have many out-reaching digital communication mediums that could easily undertake promotional work for S.T.A.R, she cannot help but report that Egyptian students do not seem involved or even interested in the refugee cause. She adds that it is important to bridge the gap between Egyptians and refugees, especially those which exist as a result of a "background of racism". There must be Egyptian teachers/volunteers for refugees to feel accepted, Fikry asserts.
S.T.A.R engages in the annual Refugee Film Festival, where Fikry herself has access to many to a diverse selection of refugee films (Fikry) which she shows.
See S.T.A.R Events to know when the up-coming refugee-film screening is.
Through an excellent and uncompromising e-mailing system i.e. domain@ starcairo.org, Fikry is able to contact many students about events and announcements as such.

How S.T.A.R Employs Digital Rhetoric

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