Humans og Impact Hub is a series of interviews with some of our members. We ask them questions about their start-up, what motivates them, their challenges, how impact hub helps their endeavours and where they see themselves in five years time.
This week we chat to Nawar, the newest member of our Impact Hub Team.
Nawar’s journey to Impact Hub Bergen has been quite different to our other members. Fleeing from war torn Syria, Nawar came to Norway as a refugee in 2014. Through the program JobLearn Nawar is part of our Impact Hub Bergen team for a 10 month internship.
You have had quite a different path to Impact Hub then the other members, can you tell me about your journey to Impact Hub Bergen?
I joined in a special school here in Bergen, JobLearn. One of the main concepts of this school is to find a place to work as workplace experience, and at the same time learn the Norwegian language. When we started to find places for work experience, I searched on the internet and looked at companies for myself. We discussed a lot of places. When we found and discussed Impact Hub Bergen I was very interested. Especially when I met Silje and spoke to her about some new projects she was starting.
Prior to this, you worked in Syria and made the journey to Europe, can you tell me about your journey to Norway?
Before coming here, I have a long working experience in Syria. I started in 1992 as a consultant in an oil company in Syria. A sub-contractor company, a support company to the oil industry. I worked there for nine years and moved to a new company and worked as a sales manager and product manager. This company’s main product was Internet products. I worked there for 10 years and then I worked as Executive Director for an internet service provider. It was my last position before I left Syria.
You know the problems happening in Syria well, the war started in 2011. All Syrian people think it would be finished shortly, but unfortunately it has not. In 2013 I made the decision to leave Syria for Dubai because there was no way to stay in Syria. In Dubai, it was a temporary situation to see what we could do for me and my wife and daughter. I spent one year there without anything happening, because it is difficult in the gulf region, especially for the Syrian people to find work. So this is why I made the decision to come to Europe as a refugee.
I travelled from Dubai to Turkey, by plane. From Turkey to Greece…it is hard to talk about. Between Turkey and Greece, it was a dangerous trip, and I am lucky to be here.
What will you be working on at Impact Hub Bergen?
We are talking about what we can do in booking systems here and with some new projects. I am working on a business plan for these new projects at the Hub. So that we can have a good start for the new projects.
What do you hope to get out of your time at Impact Hub Bergen?
It is part of my personal cultures that if I start something I do it 100%. The Norwegian market and environment is so different than the market in Syria. The business environment, the law, everything like this makes it more difficult for me. So this time at Impact Hub I hope will let me understand the Norwegian market and working environment more. And of course to be able to do something with my time. Because when you start a new project, it’s not virtual, it’s not real, but I find this very interesting.
You recently got some great news that your family will be joining you in Bergen this summer. What are your hopes for your future in Bergen & Norway?
We make lots of plans. Personally I really would like to find a job and that’s normal for anybody. Because we plan to stay here for a long time. This is a big opportunity for me and my wife and my daughter. To start something new here. As a family we plan to stay here. For a good life we have to find jobs, both me and my wife. Then I hope, this is one of my dreams, I am not sure if we can do it here or not, is to continue my studies and start my Masters degree and a PhD in economy.
My wife has a bachelor degree in Arabic Literature, and she likes to work in Media. She trained in Media in Syria in TV and likes that type of work.
My first priority here is to learn the Norwegian language and to speak fluent Norwegian. This is my obligation.