Yasmin had studied environmental engineering for one year at university in Aleppo. But in Istanbul she wasn’t able to continue her education ‘because I didn’t speak Turkish and because of the financial situation of my family’.
So she started to work. “That was hard for me as I worked for the first time ever. In Syria I didn’t work. In Istanbul I had many jobs. In one company I quit my job after one month as they didn’t pay me. At a factory for glasses and sunglasses in Silivri I worked as well. They were a connection of my father, who is a businessman. In Syria my father imported glasses and accessoires from that factory. Within two months I left my job. I didn’t like it there”.
Yasmin started learning Turkish at TÖMER. “That was not easy, but I practised a lot. In the metrobus for instance I spoke to anybody, specially old passengers.”
Yasmin loves art and fashion. At Aydın Istanbul University she continued her education with a 50 percent scholarship. Not environmental engineering anymore. She decided to study fashion design. And graduated after two years.
She wanted to make some money too, so in the second semester she started teaching Arabic and English at a private school. “I worked in art exhibitions as a hostess as well”.
When she heard about the Dutch ngo United Work offering training and jobs for Syrian refugees she applied and did a training course. “At the end of the course they asked if I would like to work for them. Of course I said yes. It is important what they do at United Work and I like to help Syrian refugees, specially Syrian women. I became a consultant for the women department. I find the women via social media. They also find us through word of mouth”.
Her plans and ambitions fort he future?
“I want to establish my own fashion business, first online. I chose a name already: ‘La Maison de Yasmin’.