When you type the “Syrian war” in Google, you quickly end up with complicated articles on websites such as Wikipedia, NOS and the NRC that explain the subject in dry, confusing and complicated terms with all kinds of different views.
What you read is a cold, dry story without any compassion that quickly makes it a “far from my bed show”. However, when you look at the consequences of such a war closer to home, you come across the following. In 2015 there is a mega peak of almost 59000 asylum applications in the Netherlands, in 2016 something like 18000 and in 2017 almost 15000. We can put all asylum applicants together and look at them as a group, but instead we will take you in one person's story.
His name is Manar Aburshaid, 49 years old, entrepreneur and since 5 years also a status holder in the Netherlands. He prefers to describe himself in terms of newcomer, entrepreneur and connector. Its name, Manar means lighthouse in Arabic. What is typical given his self-discovered role and mission in his life. Namely directing people to the right direction.
Some brief facts about Manar's background are that he comes from an enterprising family and that he was allowed to study in the US. By having been active in the international family business from an early age and having set up several cases himself, he can rightly be called a world citizen. We can talk long and broad about Manar's education and background but the point in his story where it really starts to get interesting in this context is from the moment he makes the decision to leave his whole life and keep it and a new life to build in Europe.
Reason why? Easy. He wanted to offer his family a good future, but above all a safe life.
Where we, "ordinary Dutch", have the greatest "concern" that we do not yet know where we will go on holiday, we often do not know what is going on in a family of newcomers. Manar is therefore concerned about everything but a holiday. Maslow's pyramid tells us that we as humans have a number of basic needs before we can move on to a “higher goal”. If we take a look at the life of a status holder who is not yet sure that he can stay in this country, we see that unfortunately a lot of elements are missing before he has time to worry about a holiday destination at all. Unfortunately, this also applies to Manar.
Perseverance, intelligence and creativity, however, have done no harm to Manar. As enterprising as he is, he has learned a lot from the setbacks he has faced. And he has made use of it to familiarize others with more or less the same background in the Netherlands. As a beacon of light, he worked selflessly for organizations such as COA and then went to work for the Nieuw Thuis Rotterdam Foundation for 2 years. An organization that helps Syrian families integrate into the Netherlands.
However, Manar's exceptional story has taken a completely different turn recently. During the work he did at SNTR, he came to the conclusion that these families would benefit most from help to work. Why? Because when someone can provide for his own income, all kinds of positive things happen. First of all, by interacting with his new colleagues, the person will learn the language faster, as well as its customs and culture. He gets a network and becomes part of a team. In addition, the self-confidence of the person grows, so that he can focus on the future again. Much more can be achieved only by giving people perspective in a safe environment.
Manar's mission became clear. He wanted to help others much further than just arranging benefits, education and safe shelter. He had to help newcomers to work! But how do you do that when status holders and employers are so far apart because of different cultures and the lack of recognized diplomas?
Together with a number of companies (Talent Status Recruitment, Control Payroll, Leer Unique, OCTA BV, Stichting Stimulance, and Staffin), he came up with a groundbreaking idea. namely with an A to Z trajectory from education, training and guidance to the ultimate goal. Namely, guiding people to the labor market in different sectors.