Inside Syria, 75% of aid is now arriving through local networks supported by diaspora groups. Among the leaders of this new humanitarian wave is British doctor Rola Hallam of Hand in Hand for Syria
When Rola Hallam arrived in the UK at 13 from Syria, speaking no English and knowing nothing of British culture, she felt like she’d landed on a different planet. Her gynaecologist father had accepted a job at a British hospital, and the whole family relocated, pitching head first into 1980s Cambridgeshire.
“I felt like I was wearing really weird clothes,” she remembers. “It was very white middle class.” Thrown into an English school, Rola showed her mettle: nailing her GSCEs within two years while also learning English, landing a place at medical school and becoming a consultant doctor with her beloved NHS.Read more