English Language & Literature graduate Sue Djabri’s involvement in student societies took her to a refugee camp one summer in the 1950s. Since then she has continued to lead an international life and this summer she will return to Edinburgh for Alumni Weekend.
|Degree Course||M.A. (Hons) English Language and Literature|
|Year of Graduation||1959|
Your time at the University
I chose Edinburgh because I wanted to see the city and live away from home – my father was a Professor at Liverpool University so I did not think that it was a good idea to go there. I loved the city from the first and in my third and fourth years I lived in a beautiful flat in St. Bernard’s Crescent. I greatly admired Professor Renwick who was then Head of the Department of English Language and Literature for the breadth of his knowledge and experience. I also made many good friends at the University and have remained close to several of them.
I became Secretary of the United Nations Student Association and worked at a refugee camp in Austria during one summer vacation, helping refugees from Yugoslavia build houses. In other vacations I worked at the Laigh Coffee House, which was a very popular meeting place for students and others in the late 1950s.
I chose Edinburgh because I wanted to see the city and live away from home – my father was a Professor at Liverpool University so I did not think that it was a good idea to go there.
Tell us about your Experiences since leaving the University
Immediately after leaving the University, I got the chance to become an interviewer on the BBC programme Scope during the winter season, which I much enjoyed, and after it ended I worked for a while at a correspondence college before returning to Liverpool.
A few months later I became a research assistant in the Foreign and Commonwealth Information Research Department in London, where a friend of mine from Edinburgh was already working. I worked there for ten and a half years and was promoted to Senior Researcher and Assistant Head of Desk. I left when I married a Syrian engineer and went to live in Beirut, where I did a little editorial work for a friend. With the outbreak of the civil war in Lebanon, we moved to Saudi Arabia, where it was more difficult for me to find suitable work, and by then I had two children to look after. Because of the limited educational opportunities in Saudi Arabia, in 1981 I moved back to England with the boys, while my husband remained working in the Middle East.
During the next eleven years we lived in Wimbledon where the boys went to King’s College School, and I eventually did some voluntary editorial work for the Wimbledon Society. When the boys left home to go to university, we moved to Horsham in Sussex, where I have done a good deal of voluntary and editorial work for Horsham Museum, and cared for my husband after he retired.
Make the most of your time at university and make as many good friends as you can – these experiences will be of great value to you in later life.