Kamal, David and Julia
Kamal, David and Julia
Kamal is a 28 year old Syrian from Aleppo. He studied law in Syria and Lebanon, and worked as a mobile phone technician. Since moving to London, Kamal has been focusing on improving his English, building his network and applying to jobs. David and Julia are both 30 and recently married. David is a lawyer, originally from Derby. He loves rugby and played in Spain for a season. Julia works for a bank, she is half French and half English and grew up just outside Paris. They now live in a flat in Brixton, South London.
When I arrived in London, looking for accommodation and a job at the same time was challenging. Obtaining one without the other is very difficult: you need an address to apply for a job, but you can't apply for a job without an address.
Homes for Syrians helped me to solve this problem by putting me in touch with David and Julia, and securing a room for me. This opened the door to more than just a home: I found myself surrounded by nice people who gave me warmth, love and hope. It was like finding lost family.
I felt like I could start to figure out the world again. David and Julia introduced me to their friends who helped with my job search and CV, and have also become friends of mine.
David and Julia
We decided to put our spare room on Homes for Syrians after months of feeling helpless and shocked by the refugee crisis. It felt like a small but proactive step to take a stance and welcome someone into our home.
Soon after, we were contacted by Homes for Syrians to say that a young man called Kamal was looking for accommodation. Before committing, we all met for a coffee to get to know each other a bit and ask any questions that we (or Kamal) had. Kamal moved in the next day.
Whilst we have offered Kamal support with his English, his CV and job hunting, Kamal's proactivity and desire to make the best of his new life in the UK has meant that he is not dependent on us. He is developing his own network in London, while also integrating easily into our group of friends. For Kamal, the certainty of a roof has allowed him to concentrate on all the other things that come with such a huge change of circumstance.
We can honestly say it's one of the best things we've ever done. Getting to know Kamal has been amazing. He is kind, bright, hardworking and inspiring. We've loved learning about his background and culture and loved discovering how much we have in common. It's been a really enriching experience on both sides.