30 days for refugees – Day 4

Today, it’s all about the things you can’t always see.

Look at the pictures below and see if you can tell – which person is a refugee? Which person gave refugees from Syria a place to stay? Which person is a professor of maths and business-owner? Which person is nurturing future soccer star?

Portrait of Wissam Portrait of Kenzu Portrait of Amir

It’s not always easy to tell. After all, “refugee” is just one way of describing an element of a person’s life – it describes a moment in time, often a very traumatic one, but a temporary state nonetheless. A bit like calling someone a student, or a jury member, or an intern.

So whose story is whose?

Who opened up numerous spare rooms to refugees?

That was Amir. Himself a refugee from Syria, he’s always been the sort of person to make the most out of every situation. So when he found himself in Turkey, relatively safe and well-off, it just made perfect sense for him to help others from his homeland. So he gave people fleeing Syria a place to stay in his house.

Who is a professor of maths?

That’s Kenzu. Originally from Ethiopia, Kenzu now lives in Canada and is a refugee community sponsor in Canada. He has also set up a restaurant business with a Syrian refugee family in his town, because, in his words, it’s a win-win – the family get a sustainable way to make a living, and he gets to help them while benefitting from being a business-owner too.

Who is nurturing a future soccer star?

That’s Wissam. Though at first, it was culturally a strange concept that her daughter might play football – which isn’t usually on offer to girls in Syria, where she’s from – she has seen a new lease of life in daughter Zahiya since she joined a girls’ soccer team. And what brings Zahiya joy, brings Wissam great joy too.

Please share these stories.