A Lost Education: Batoul Taha’s Story

Below is a video produced about a Senn Junior named Batoul Taha. She came to the United States after fleeing Syria with her family to Lebanon. With the help of the United Nations, she has arrived in Chicago at Senn High School. Her story is impactful and reveals a personal side of the conflict occurring in her home country.



218 thoughts on “A Lost Education: Batoul Taha’s Story

  1. The package was extremely well produced and gave a great overview of the Syrian crisis while narrowing the focus on how Batoul specifically was affected, localizing the story. The VO (voiceover) seemed at times slightly monotone and could’ve been read faster and with a little bit more emotion, but overall it was good in its language and writing. I liked the inclusion of clips of President Trump, but I think they could be reedited to include better soundbites from him, especially from the David Muir interview. Finally, I’d say Batoul’s talking head at the end was not necessary. I would’ve left that shot the same as the rest of her interview only because I personally feel like talking heads are less professional looking than the traditional broadcast interview style. Overall, I thought the B-roll used was really powerful and illustrated her school life well and the clips of the Syrian conflict were powerful and perfectly gut-wrenching. I really liked which soundbites from her interview were used, as they reflected emotion, and quotes should always go more in-depth about objective facts of a story. Great piece!


  2. I understand this story and it is tough to take in for most people, all the bad things that happen not just in Syria but in the Middle East impact people who live greatly. Especially for those who live in that region or who have family there, it’s good that she managed to come to America due to the help of the United Nations. My dad and two uncles were locked up in a concentration camp during the Bosnian and Serbian war and it was really tough for them each day they were there. He told me so many terrible things that went down in the camps, like they were only given one piece of bread for a week and people being killed in front of them and the beatings that they took. Luckily NATO came and rescued the people in the camps including my dad and two uncles and end the war. So I can kinda understand the struggle of having a family be separated.

    From what I know is that the events going down in the Syria have been going on for a while now and it’s only gotten worse throughout the years, conflict has been rising and many people have been killed in this war including men women and children who are trying to stay out of the war. And it’s hard on the people coming into America especially because of the the threat of terrorists coming into the country kinda mixing themselves into the people who are coming to leave these war torn countries for a better life so we can’t really pick them out of all of them so easily. So yeah it’s complicated and it’s going to stay that way for a while unless we do more than what we are currently doing. The idea of not allowing people into the country from this region where conflict is on the rise is not bad considering that the people have all other choices of where to go and I say this not as someone who dislikes immigration, I am all for people coming into the country but I am someone who wants to make sure that the possibility of terrorists entering the country is avoided.

    The video shows her struggles and what she has endured to get here like many others and that is what’s powerful, the music could be turned down a little bit so you could hear her better but besides that the video is fine.


  3. This package gives a human face to a worldly issue that we’ve been hearing about for a long time. I really enjoyed the video and learned a lot from Batoul’s story. It is powerful, heartbreaking and beautiful.
    One of the elements that makes the video showcase those emotions is Batoul’s narration of her story throughout the film. The use of the two voices for the narration of the video contrast very well and are engaging. Enough history is explained to understand the situation in Syria, without being overwhelming or seeming the main focus of the package.
    The videos showing the situation in Syria are also very powerful, and help tell the story and show the struggle people like Batoul have suffered. They are an important element in the package and add a lot of emotion.
    Also great are the different shots of Batoul at school, which help portray Batoul’s love for education and create a more solid connection with high school students watching this video. The shots are clear, varied, and show a number of different people around Batoul, making them not only fun to watch but moving the narration of the story along.
    The addition of pictures from Batoul’s life is also a powerful asset in the story, showing Batoul at different stages of her life and helping the story be a beautiful personal tale of struggle, hope and passion.
    A very interesting element is the mention of Trump at the end of the package, which proves why it’s important to know about people like Batoul and encourage the President to widened our borders to refugees, especially children who need and want to finish their education.
    This package helped me understand how the war in Syria has affected people and understand why it’s important to be informed and have an open mind and an open heart toward those that need us.


  4. What I knew about the Syrian War and refugees crisis before watching this video was that currently there is a war going on here, and because of that a lot of refugees are looking for homes and a new life in America, this war started in 2011 during Spring, I believe it started around March. And the president currently is Bashar al-Assad, also America recently bombed Syria as well.

    What I learned from Batoul’s story about the situation in Syria and abroad is people are dying from this and losing their educations because of this war. There is so much going on In syria right now like as I mentioned before, people are dying, families are being destroyed and being left behind because a lot of people are trying to get out of this which could cause to leaving some of their family members behind and their possessions as well. I also learned that a lot of kids are suffering from this war. They are losing their education because schools are getting bomb and it’s just not safe to go outside at all because they have no clue what can happen to them.

    I cannot relate to Batoul’s story at all because I was lucky enough to be born here in America. Her life is completely different from mine because as I mentioned before, I was born here. She missed out 2 years of her childhood while I had all of mine. Hearing what she went through is so heartbreaking and It really makes me realize how lucky I am to live in America and go to school everyday without being scared or having any types of issues. I am very fortunate to be here. This was emotional to watch, it just broke my heart just hearing her story.

    I think the United States should reach out and help people like Batoul’s family because innocent lives are being taken, kids are losing their education, it’s not fair to them, they didn’t do anything. The people over there are all human just like us, they don’t deserve this. They are just trying to get away from the war to start a better life and I think we should definitely help them.

    Nothing in this video confused me, I think this video was very beautiful. It was really brave of Batoul to share her and her family’s story. It was a beautiful story. I have no advice Mr. Cullinane.


  5. Before watching this video i didn’t know much about the Syrian civil war and refugee crisis but i know that there was a lot of attacks like bombing,shooting and more. Also i know that children couldn’t go to school because of the it was too dangerous for children to be out because of the bombing. And also there is terrorist attacks going on in Syria like ISIS which a terrorist group from Syria.

    What i learned from Batoul’s story is that Batoul likes school since she was little and when she was 13 she couldn’t attend school because of the problems they had in Syria. And also how bad Syria is like the terrorist don’t care if children are in the school they will still end up bombing it and Syria is a bad place because they’re mostly attacks that could last up to days.


  6. Before watching the video, I didn’t really know much about what was happening around Syria but i did know that Syria was going threw a lot because they were getting attacked and many people were being killed and due to those problems, they were trying to moved out Syria and find a better place where they could be safe . But they couldn’t move in the US because the president did not allow them to .
    What i learned about Batoul’s story is that a lot of Syrians lives are in danger because of all the things that are happening around there . So many people in Syria are suffering due to all the violence that is happening everyday . Schools are being bombed, people are getting shot, and families are being separated .
    I really can’t relate to Batoul’s story cause i never went through what she went threw but after watching this, it made appreciate a lot more the opportunities that sadly Batoul did not have.
    I think United states should reach out and help families like Batoul’s family because honestly it’s not their fault and its sad how they are suffering daily .
    I like how there’s a lot of information about what is going on in Syria cause it helped me learn more to what i somewhat already knew . Overall the video was really good and nothing about it was confusing .


  7. I knew that there is civil war going on in syria that killed so many people and so many kids are dying because gas bomb. Everyday million children get killed in syria and I know that There is so many refuge in syria because of civil war they want to leave syria and they want save life for their children and for their family.From the Batoul ‘s story I learned that people are facing so many problems in syria and syrian people’s lives are not save in syria. I can not related to the batoul story because I didn’t experienced the any war. My life is very different from her life because I didn’t face any struggles or war that batuol face. I think United State should helped people like batuol’s family because people will safe from the war and they can start good life. If United States help the people in Syria people would be happy and there life wouldn’t be in danger and also Syrian people have good future for their children. I like the videos you put to describe the Syrian situation and I like everything in the video Nothing is confusing in the video everything is good . I have no advice for Mr. Cullinane because everything is great and you always make good videos.


  8. The question asked by Senn times brings up a good point. Why is the U.S bombing Syria but not taking in refugees? In my opinion it is hypocritical of the U.S because all they are doing is endangering the lives of the civilians in Syria by being just another country bombing them trying to play the hero when there are better ways such as accepting refugees in the country or having talks with other allied countries on accepting refugees also.


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