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Check Out These Syrian Refugees and Their Success Stories Around the World

posted on: Nov 3, 2020


By: Ala Abed-Rabbo/Arab America Contributing Writer         

Millions of Syrian refugees have fled their home country to seek a better life due to the war conflict that started in 2011. However, the conflict and despair did not stop them, and many took this opportunity to fight for their success. Each refugee in this article has a success story, proving that refugees have great contributions to make.

Syrian Refugees


With the increasing revolutions in Syria since the year 2011, many Syrian refugees migrated to other countries in large numbers. Instability and brutality caused many to flee. The refugee crisis spans from no hope to successful refugee stories and its impact is spreading from bordering countries toward Europe and North America.

Labor force market incorporation is a considerable task for the host countries given the magnitude of the refugee crisis. However, it poses the chance for refugees to enhance their living situations through their hard work, especially if accompanied by admission to education, while also allowing the countries to obtain more of the possible economic benefits from the demographic increase.

Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

According to the American University in Beirut, “notably, Syrians contributed 1.04 million dollars a day to the Lebanese economy, and 12,000 jobs were established by Syrian refugees in 2016 alone.”

A refugee from Syria named Abdul Halim al-Attar was once photographed selling pens in Beirut, Lebanon. After an internet campaign, he currently owns three businesses in the city. The father of two opened a bakery and has since added a small restaurant and kebab shop to his business venture.

The Economic Boost in Turkey and the Syrian Refugees

Syrian refugees pose the ability to contribute to Turkey’s Development Plan (2019 – 2023) and beyond. Refugees of all skill levels can contribute to Turkey’s definite drive to expand its’ economic growth program with a focus on digital renovation and technology-intensive industrial production. All should happen through innovation free enterprise and firms, and through partnerships between the Turks and individuals from the Syrian refugee population.

The moderate Fatih area in Turkey’s biggest city has been home to Syrian refugees. Around and in the area of Malta Market Street in Fatih is the Syrian or Damascus Bazaar. It is home to a variety of restaurants offering all kinds of Syrian food and sweets.

Mohamed Nizar Bitar, a Syrian refugee living in Istanbul, Turkey, owns seven Syrian restaurants in the country. He, among the hundreds of restaurant owners, caters to the 2.7 million Syrian refugees residing in Turkey.

Former Syrian Refugees’ Success Stories in Canada

Abdul Fatah Sabouni, a former refugee and a fourth-generation soap maker, continues to expand his family business of 125 years. His family’s soap factory was destroyed in Aleppo, Syria. Soon after, he and his family fled to Calgary, Canada. Alongside his business partners, Husny Hadry and Walid Bashra, he started Aleppo Savon. The three partners have started their retail outlet where customers can purchase their GMO-free coconut and olive oil-based products.

In 2012, in Damascus, Syria, the Hadhad family’s chocolate factory was demolished. Therefore, Tareq Hadhad strived to flee with his family and arrive in Antigonish, N.S. They started small in local Antigonish markets, and many people lined up to taste their sweet treats. Peace by Chocolate received tremendous support from local community members and councilors, providing their hard work to help.

Hadhad was showcased in “The Migrant,” which caught over 114,000 people’s attention on social media. In 2016, during a speech for the United Nations Leaders’ Summit on Refugees by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the company took an even greater turn when they accepted significant props for their desserts. The Hadhad family has altered its store into a museum. An upcoming book will also disclose the full story of how Peace by Chocolate came to be.

Syrian Refugees in Germany

Spiegel Online

From a refugee to a construction manager, Nour Taleb, from Aleppo, Syria, now resides in Germany. In Dortmund, Germany, she has successfully formed herself as an environmental engineer. Taleb currently manages the city’s road projects at the Civil Engineering Office. In Germany, in 2017, Nour’s excellent technical skills, proficiency in the German language, and her idea of an infrastructure project earned her the new position. Also, she received a warm welcome from Birgit Jörder, the City’s Mayor, and the head of the administration Ms. Sylvia Uehlendahl.

From Syria To Egypt

Also, since the war in 2011, Syria, millions of people have fled to Egypt. When the war took place in Syria, Abdullah Bashir fled to Egypt. He has then set up a shop just like the one he owned in Syria, stocking the shelves with pastries filled with pistachios, dates, and semolina cakes soaked in syrup.

“We had to develop our work, buy Egyptian equipment and consult with Egyptian chefs,” Bashir says. The result was “Sweets of Damascus.” The place opened in October 2013 and is located in the city of Giza, which is close to Egypt’s capital, Cairo.


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