Liberian Student Decries Life In Turkish-Control Cyprus

Cred: By Ibrahim A. Sherif & Fanta L. Keith (LINA)

MONROVIA, Feb. 8 (LINA) – Speaking to the Liberia News Agency on anonymity, a Liberian student in Cyprus, has cautioned others, mainly students who are desirous of seeking advanced education not to venture to travel to Cyprus in the absence of financial support.

“Do not come to Cyprus if you don’t have financial support,” she warned, alleging that the academic programs in Cyprus are not a fully funded scholarship as portrayed by many agents who recruit students for the academic program.

Cyprus, officially the Republic of Cyprus, is an island country in the eastern Mediterranean Sea South of the Anatolian Peninsula. It is the third-largest and third-most populous island in the Mediterranean, and is located South of Turkey, West of Syria, Northwest of Lebanon, Israel, and the Gaza Strip (Palestine), North of Egypt, and Southeast of Greece. Its capital and largest city is Nicosia.

Cyprus has been divided, de facto, into the Greek Cypriot controlled southern two-thirds of the island and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus a third. The Republic of Cyprus is internationally recognized as the Republic of Cyprus, which controls the southern two-thirds of the island.

The source further indicated that she spoke with some Liberians who according to her were misled by agents to take on the adventure to that part of the world but shockingly bewailed that many of the Liberians in such a category are not in school because they cannot afford the fees.

The Liberian student told LINA that the Turkish side of Cyprus which hosts the Cyprus International University (CIU) where many Liberians are seeking advanced education is currently in a financial crisis – a situation which has made life difficult for Liberian students.

She also revealed that many Liberian students are being hit by financial difficulties because they want to live luxurious lives compared to their other African counterparts studying in the country.

The LINA source alleged that as a result, some Liberians girls have involved themselves into prostitution as a means of sustaining themselves.

However, she disclosed that she wasn’t recruited by an agent but her cousin who was also part of the program told her exactly how everything worked out in Cyprus.

“My parents are paying my fees because the program is not a fully funded scholarship and my people know such,” the insider told LINA.

Meanwhile, another Liberian who also spoke to LINA on anonymity revealed that she was misled by the person who recruited her into the program which according to her led her into the difficulties she is currently encountering.

The second source emphasized that the information from the agents are not reliable on grounds that they don’t portray the reality in Cyprus but that they only care for the percentage they will obtain from the deal.

When asked why the students cannot return home amidst the difficulties, She said about 40 percent of the Liberian students want to return to Liberia but are ashamed of what people will say about them upon returning to their homeland.

It can be recalled that a Liberian student with Facebook account “Amelia Siah Siaffa” alleged in a post that they (Liberian Students) have suffered numerous sexual violence from both white and black men in North Cyprus.

“My colleagues and I have spent approximately four months in North Cyprus, and we’ve already experienced almost every form of sexual Violence from white guys as well as black guys on this Island,” Amelia wrote.

Adding: “For whatever reason, these men have over-sexualized Black immigrants women who’ve come to pursue higher education. The first and only job I had within my first two months of being here, I had to quit because my coworker who’s a white guy thought it was fun to have grabbed my *** while I was working. I couldn’t stay further”.

Amelia stressed that the availability of jobs in North Cyprus is rare, alleging that black women might be asked to give a piece of her skin in exchange for a job.

“A guy sees you today, and thinks it’s cute and appropriate to offer you money for sex! It is exhausting! We are not sex workers! We are international students. We are Black women in search of education. It is exhausting,” Amelia maintained.

The information from Amelia as well as sources who contacted the Liberia News Agency could not be independently verified, but President Weah recently expressed concern about the exodus of Liberian youth to Cyprus under the guise of honoring scholarship offers in that country.

The Liberian leader told officials at a cabinet meeting in Monrovia that there are credible information available to him that most of these young people are being duped and struggling to get daily needs.

He, however, mandated the Ministries of Education, Labour, and Justice to investigate the situation and devise mechanisms to curtail this worrisome situation.

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