Please tell me about yourself, name, age, education status?
My name is Ahmed Assaf 27 years old, I was studying economics at Aleppo University, but I did not graduate because of the war and had to come to Turkey, I am single.
How did you come and how long have you been in Turkey?
I have been living in Turkey for 4 years. In 2014 I came from Damascus airport to Lebanon then to Turkey, that time Syrians did not have to take a visa to enter Turkey.
Did you work while you were studying in Aleppo/Syria?
In 2011 I was working as an assistant at a Veterinarian clinic owned by my father then I started to work in trade business as freelancer.
When did you start working here?
I have been working here for 5 months.
Did you have any job experience in Turkey before this current job?
The first three months in Istanbul I could not find any job then I started working in a small workshop which took me 6 months. After that I worked for two other factories for about 14 months, after that I found a job in a restaurant near to my place where I started working there as a waiter after that as an assistant to the manager especially in translating from Arabic to Turkish. I have worked there for two and a half years after that I started to work in this factory.
Did you get any work permission from the companies/factories that you used to work for?
No, I did not get any. The first time I got work permission here in this factory.
How did you hear about United Work?
When I left my job in the restaurant, I was looking for a job and no one was accepting me because I am Syrian, it was a difficult time then a friend of mine told me about United Work and what they do. After that I visited their office and made an interview there and they have arranged many interviews for me until I got accepted in this factory.
Did United Work change your life? Was it in a positive or in a negative way?
For me, United Work affected my life in a very positive way. If I did not have the chance to meet United Work team I think I wouldn’t have a job until now.
What is your job role here in this factory?
I work in the assembly department in the factory.
Are there any difficulties that have you faced while working here?
In general, I did not face any problem, the most important thing for me is the behaviornof my colleagues against me which is very good and veryone has been helpful and respectful.
Do you have any plans for your current job?
I have big ambitions more than this job that is why I want to continue my education related to business and trade because I want to work in this field in my future job.
How do you describe your relationships with people from Turkey in general? Do you face any problems?
In every society, we may find good and bad people. For me I have faced both but I am very thankful for all Turkish people and for Turkey for supporting us.
Do you feel a sense of belonging to Turkey?
I feel like it is my own country even when I talk to my family, I tell them to come here. And when my friends decided to immigrate to Europe I refused because I used to live in this country and learned the language and liked the culture.