From Syria to Sudan: courage and strength to make a positive impact

I am a 26 years old Syrian engineering student and refugee in Sudan. Yes, that is right, in Sudan! I was born and raised in South of Syria in our village with my family. During the conflict that started in 2011 my education journey was interrupted two times.

First, in Aleppo where students were targeted by the national security and I was kidnapped and tortured for 50 days. During those days my family did not know where I was and what was happening to me and I learned to be patient and have hope that I could have been free one day. After I was released, I had to leave the University of Aleppo and go to Damascus University.

Second, at the beginning of 2016, just two years before I could graduate, I had to leave Syria because I was called for the compulsory military service. I left my country very quickly: in just two weeks I obtained my passport and checked my options for the country I was able to travel to legally and considered the costs involved. I decided to travel to Sudan. I did not know anyone in Sudan. For me it was like travelling to the totally uncertain and absolute unknown future. But there was no other choice.

I arrived in Sudan on the 19th of January 2016. I spent the first day looking for a place to stay. As soon as I was able to have Internet I was lucky and successful in my online research and I was able to sleep indoors that day. After two weeks of challenges looking for a house and a job in Khartoum I found an opportunity to use my educational skills and work in Kassala, Eastern Sudan, for a solar energy company. Unfortunately, I had to leave that job soon work because of the bad behaviour of my boss. I was left unemployed and with a severe lower back injury due to the heavy weight I was work on.

For many months, I was not able to find a job and accommodation. I had to live in an open space for five months until I found a job. Last year my family was at risk, so I brought them here in Sudan, all my family, but except my father cause the government did not allow him to travel. I was responsible for my family: three sisters in school, my mom and two brothers. Unfortunately, after few months my family had to go back to Syria because what I was earning at work was not enough. It was a very difficult moment for me.

At the beginning of 2017, I found out that I could bring my Syrian University documents and transfer my education to Kassala University. I am still studying here and hopefully I will graduate in 2020. For last three years, I have built strong relationships in the community, particularly among young people in my new home, Sudan. These new friends are supporting me to complete my University.

I have volunteered in my community doing different activities: from training teenagers in basketball and providing media and fundraising support to a local charity for disabled persons to establishing and coordinating the first TEDx conference in eastern Sudan. Now I am working as a part timer for Talawiet Organisation for Development, a national NGO. I’m learning so many things and build my capacity in the field of the youth and Entrepreneurship.

Recently I have represented the city in the biggest platform for the youth in the world: One Young World The Hague Summit 2018. Wherever I am and I go, I want to be strong and courageous to be able to leave a big positive impact about the Syrians and the Refugees.