Monday 27 January 2020

Sisters who spoke no English two years ago now celebrating stellar grades

Syrian sisters Diana and Loujin Shakerdi
Syrian sisters Diana and Loujin Shakerdi

Patrick Kelleher

Sisters Loujin (17) and Diana (18) Shakerdi fled the Syrian city of Aleppo just two years ago with their parents to escape the civil war in their home country.

Yesterday, they both received their Leaving Cert results. Loujin got 435 points and Diana got 560.

When they arrived in Ireland and started at Maynooth Post-Primary School two years ago, neither of them spoke any English.

"It's really hard to adapt to Ireland," Loujin told the Irish Independent. "Everything was new to us. It was really hard to adapt because we had no English."

Loujin and Diana are both intent on studying medicine and becoming doctors like their parents. Loujin has decided to repeat her Leaving Cert to try to get the required points for medicine, while Diana is waiting to see her offers before making a decision. She is hoping that the results of her HPAT exam, which is required of all those applying for medicine, will help her to secure a place.

"I was happy because I thought I would get less," Loujin said of her 435 points.

The sisters had to cope with the stress of moving to a new country and adapting to a whole new way of life.

"It wasn't easy. We left all our friends and family," Diana said.

Yesterday was a day for celebration for the sisters after finding out about their stellar results.

Irish Independent

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