Ibrahim Abdulkarim

Ibrahim Abdulkarim

Ibrahim Abdulkarim (23) from the Syrian of Aleppo came to Turkey in 2015. He had been living in Saudi Arabia for 14 years, since he was 7 years old. “I know the culture and I’m fluent in the Saudi accent”, he says.
As he could not study in Syria because of the civil war, he decided to go to Turkey instead.
He started to study electrical engineering at the university of the northern Turkish city Karabük, close tot he Black Sea coast. “I could not afford it and came to Istanbul to look for a job. A friend of mine told me about United Work. I went there, had an interview and was called later by the Turkish online wedding marketplace Düğün (Wedding). They offered me a job”.
His job description? He laughs and says: “I do a lot of different things at this company. Fixing the data on the website. Editing what customers write if necessary. I call the customers we have to check if what they wrote is correct. I’m looking for new data as well.”
In the Summer of 2018 Ibrahim got his Turkish citizenship. That’s why he doesn’t need a work permit. He earns more than the monthly legal minimum wage of 2,020 Turkish Lira (€320,-). “I am really happy that I found this job with the help of United Work”.
Ibrahim speaks four languages: Arabic, English, Turkish and Spanish. “For me learning Turkish was the easiest. I had a course of two months, that was it. At the university there were maybe ten Turkish students who spoke English, but that was all. I had no other choice than to communicate in Turkish. Spanish is much more difficult. I learned it online through my friends from Colombia. Internet also helped me to learn English”.
He would like to go back to university to continue his education. “In the future, but now I enjoy my job here. I don’t make plans. I live in the moment”.
Ibrahim is the only one from his family in Turkey. As a Turkish citizen he might stay in Turkey. He doesn’t know yet. Going back to Syria isn’t on his mind either. When the war is over and peace returns to his ravaged home country he will look what the opportunities are for making a career in Syria. But one thing is clear for him: “As long as Assad is in power I will not return”.