HELP SULAIMAN

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Help 4 Refugees is currently raising money to help a kind and loving family in the Zaatari refugee camp find a new home in Canada. Sulaiman and his wife Anagheem dream of a Newfoundland future where they can raise their three children: Jana, Ahmed, and Najah. They dread staying in the Zaatari refugee camp out of concern for the limited opportunities for their children.

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Before entering the Zaatari camp, Sulaiman was a student of economics and commerce, pursuing his master’s degree at the University of Damascus. Sulaiman had plans to enter the  business world upon graduating where he would use his newfound skills to find a well-paid job to support his family. However this dream came to a screeching halt in 2011, when the Syrian conflict began. 

Due to his age and gender, Sulaiman was given two choices, take up arms and kill the Syrians that he loved, or escape to Jordan to live in peace. He chose the latter, leaving behind his studies, his family, and his dreams.

In January of 2011, Jordan began college, majoring in International Studies at California State University Long Beach. In 2012, Jordan learned about the plight of the Syrian people from his professor, and was immediately inspired and compelled to make a difference. As a result, he spent the fall of 2012 reporting as a freelance journalist and delivering humanitarian aid to the Syrian refugees in Zaatri Refugee Camp.​

It was through his continued interactions with the refugees at this time that Jordan learned of the refugees’ desperate need for better housing. In order to help meet the need for adequate shelter, Jordan teamed up with Olivia Wong, a fellow CGIU commitment maker, to fundraise and deliver two prefabricated housing units, called caravans, to the Zaatari Refugee Camp in the summer of 2013. Student groups in New York heard about Olivia and Jordan’s work, and raised enough money to purchase two caravans, which Jordan purchased in November of 2014.

Despite leaving behind his family, livelihood, and possessions, Sulaiman insists on giving back to the community and helping others in any way he can, which is why he has taken part in so many volunteer opportunities inside the very refugee camp he lives in. Sulaiman particularly enjoyed his time volunteering with the International Medical Corps as a health educator for people with chronic diseases.

The volunteer positions helped him gain experience which led him to landing a series of coveted jobs inside the refugee camp (not every refugee who wants to work inside the refugee camp can find work). From 2015-2017, he worked with a humanitarian organization called ACTED, in which he served as a health educator, providing classes to refugee camp children. He then transferred to another organization, International Relief & Development (IRD), where he still currently serves as a Geographic Information Assistant inside the Zaatari Camp.  

Through Sulaiman’s work with IRD, he takes part in the RefuGIS project, building a dashboard that helps break down COVID-19 data by cases, deaths, and hospitalizations across Jordan. Sulaiman’s work is currently in the process of being showcased to the Jordanian government in effort to use COVID-19 data more accurately. 

While working, volunteering and raising his family, Sulaiman has set time to learn new skills for the new technological world, including learning how to code using languages such as Python, HTML, PHP, SQL and VPA. He has also taken the time to understand Geographical Information Systems (GIS).

Sulaiman and his wife hope to find a new home in Newfoundland where they can raise their three children: Jana, Ahmed, and Najah (pictured below). Sulaiman and Anagheem hope to further their education at a post-secondary institution in Newfoundland, picking up where they both left off before their lives were interrupted by war. Living in Newfoundland is a dream of theirs; they look forward to cod tongues, jiggs dinner, shed parties, and hiking on the East Coast Trail.