Libyan student overcomes major eye surgery and fears for family
SITTING the Leaving Cert is never easy for any student, but one Libyan schoolgirl had more distractions than most.
Asma Almaksy (17), a pupil at St Raphaela's Secondary School in Stillorgan, Co Dublin, had to overcome an operation to save her sight while all the time fearing for her family back in war-torn Libya.
Asma, who moved to Ireland 11 years ago, was just three when she was injured in an accident and left blind in one eye.
Last October she was told she would be left completely blind if she did not undergo an emergency operation to repair a detached retina in her remaining good eye.
"I was off school for about three or four months and when I went back the doctors told me to continue to rest it, so it was March before I fully got back to studying," said Asma.
Added to that, revolution had broken out in her homeland and her grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins were all caught up in the conflict.
"It was difficult to concentrate," said Asma.
Despite these difficulties, Asma got an impressive 450 points, and she hopes to study engineering or computer science at either Trinity or UCD.