Abdurrahman Fideli was born in Aleppo, Syria, in 1969 and is a secondary school graduate. By participating in the “Şirketim” project in February, he benefited from the project activities in order to fulfill the legal requirements of his grocery. Today, with his two children and his wife, he lives in Sultangazi, Istanbul.
Until 2014, he lived with his family in Aleppo, Syria, and was working in the furniture manufacturing and design sector. In 2014, when the Syrian civil war became unbearable for his family and himself, he had to leave his country as millions of Syrians. He decided to transit to Turkey and passed to Kilis province. Fortunately, he managed to stay with his family throughout their journey. Shortly after arriving in Kilis, the family thought that moving to Istanbul would be a better choice for their lives, and they moved to Istanbul.
Undoubtedly, it was not an easy task to arrive in another country as a refugee and start a brand new life. After coming to Turkey, he worked as a presser and sewer in a textile workshop. However, the prevalent informal work practice in the textile industry affected him adversely. While he was working there, he worked under the condition of low wages, long working hours, and insecurity. The poor working conditions inevitably affected his life as well. Later, he quit this job and started working as a tailor. However, he had to quit his job because he was not suitable for heavy working conditions and faced many health problems. In 2018, when he felt ready, he decided to start his own business and started his grocery shop. Still, until he participated in the project, he operated informally in his business for two years. Naturally, this situation led to both the indeterminacy of the future of the shop and the fear from relevant authorities.
He got acquainted with the project through a friend. When his friend explained the project that he has already participated in, he thought he needed such support and called the United Wok office. Afterward, the United Work team visited the workplace and explicitly explained the project firsthand. With the support of the project, he received a tax plate, registered to the chamber of handicraft, obtained the necessary inventory, obtained a work permit, and a municipal license. Thereby, he has begun operating more peacefully, has learned rules and regulations that businesses in Turkey subject to, has elicited the responsibilities of the entrepreneur in detail. As a result, now, he can make sales through the POS device and increase the shop’s income. Besides, the COVID-19 outbreak had a harmful economic impact on him, and the financial support provided within the scope of the project was useful backing to mitigate this impact.
Abdurrahman feels very happy to participate in the project. Because he had participated in similar projects before, but he always regretted it. He did not achieve anything at the end of the projects before, and the project implementers both did nothing and mistreated him. In the “Şirketim” project, he states that this situation is entirely different, the United Work team is highly organized, and they treat him very well. Therefore, he thanks everyone who works on the project and supports the project.
In general, he has a decent life in Turkey. However, it was not the same all the time. When he has improved his Turkish, his life in Turkey has also changed. In particular, in the first year of his arrival, he encountered many difficulties as he did not know the language very well. Nevertheless, he improved his language skills, have managed to overcome these problems, and has been able to develop good relationships with people. Besides, he also wants to expand his business. For this reason, he wants to open more branches in Istanbul. He is well aware that in order to achieve this goal, he must both create financial resources and learn more about the Turkish market. In the longer term, he wants to return to his country if the situation in Syria improves.