It’s very hard to imagine your future if you don’t have a job, so I want to help newcomers with that.
1. If you had to eat one thing for every meal going forward, what would you eat?
I love my mother’s cooking. If I could only eat one thing it would be injera, a traditional Eritrean and Ethiopian food.
2. Where do you most hope to visit?
I would like to go to Miami, I love the beach.
3. What’s your dream job?
I guess that when you love what you do it no longer feels like a job. But I like problem-solving, so my dream job would definitely involve all kinds of collaboration.
4. What is your most-used emoji?
5. If you were a fairy and could give one talent to a child, what would it be?
If I had to choose one, I would choose to be able to change the war into peace. We don’t have freedom in our land and we are thirsty for it. So I would give a happy peaceful world to children.
1. Could you tell us a bit about your background and what you are working on at Refugees Forward?
I was born and raised in Asmara, Eritrea, but have been in Amsterdam for almost 4 years already. When I arrived I started taking dutch classes at a language schools, and I ended up working there. That was a good experience because I got to help other newcomers adjust to life here, which is something that I want to continue doing. But my background is as a barber – I have over 6 years of experience. I’m interested in fashion and modern styles, especially hairstyles, so now I plan on opening my own barbershop. It’s not easy to work on it alone, but I have the help of my RF team.
2. What motivates you in life?
I am motivated by various things – it’s an evolutionary process to learn new skills. I’m also motivated by positive compliments from my customers, which encourage me to work harder in order to achieve customer satisfaction.
3. What did you learn from the people involved in this program?
Being a part of the program is an incredible experience. As a refugee entrepreneur it is very hard to run my own business alone – there are a lot of things you have to know and learn. In this program I learned many things that I wasn’t expecting .
4. Do you have any key figures in life that inspired or deeply influenced you?
I would have to say it was my parents. They always told me growing up to “treat people the way you want to be treated”. They taught me that when you believe that something is possible, it gives you the energy and determination to keep pushing.
5. Why did you join RF?
I heard about the program through the language school. It’s been my dream for a while to open my own barber shop in Amsterdam, and the program seemed to be the right opportunity.
6. If you picture your perfect future in 5 years from now, what does it look like?
I see myself as a successful entrepreneur, but I also want to help other newcomers. It’s very hard to imagine your future if you don’t have a job, so I want to help newcomers with that. I want to have my barber shop and turn it into a community that is integrated with the Dutch community. I think the people from Eritrea have a very hard time with integration, and I want to see this problem solved.