Another reason for leaving my country was that our
small-lamp factory, which my two brothers and I, together with my father, had built,
was bombed and destroyed twice when the ISIS took control of the city and its
surroundings. We produced mainly bedside lamps. I did the design on the
computer. We had a large number of models but especially lamps in the form of
statues. We no longer had the means to rebuild in the context of the war, so we
were reduced to living on charity; JRS helped us at the time. We also knew
Jesuits like Fr. Sami Hallak, who is well known for the help he and the Jesuits
gave to families in need in Aleppo.
We went into exile in Lebanon with almost nothing. I
was able to work in San Antonio monastery, where a priest put me in touch with
the “Humanitarian Corridor” project of the Sant’Egidio community in Rome. There
was still a slot for a family, and that allowed us to come to Italy.
But Italy is not an easy country for employment.
We have been here for four years and I have not been able to find a permanent
job. I only get short contracts. My wife, who is an economist but who actually
taught mathematics in Syria, has not been able to get a job either. So in 2019
I did a programming course with an organization called “Code your Future”. I
finished in January of this year. One of the facilitators, who is connected
with Caritas, put me in touch with your webmaster, Stefano Maero. We had a
Skype meeting, and a few days later he told me I had the contract.