Kenan Abdulghani | Entrepreneur

Meet our Participants!

Kenan Abdulghani


Place of birth:Damascus, Syria

Favourite dish: Mulukhiyah

Favourite book: Enjoyed Harrari’s “Sapiens: A Brief History of Human Kind”

Hidden talent: Memorizing film dialogues

Song to sing at karaoke: Pink Floyd – Time

Why did you join Refugees Forward?

Initially, it was the name of the organization that attracted me. As a Syrian who strongly believes in Syrian refugees’ capabilities, I tried to search for opportunities that allow me to help them employee their talents and skills into positive participation in the Dutch market. However, looking at the big picture, I approached Refugees Forward to transform this idea from a humble deed of support into a business that will, hopefully, be beneficial for a wide spectrum or skilled refugees.

Could you tell us a bit about your background and what project you are going to be working on?

I’m a Syrian Senior Art Director who spent the majority of his professional career in ad agencies in Saudi Arabia. 3 years ago I moved to Germany first to acquire a master degree in Digital Storytelling to add to my arsenal since the whole world has moved digital. The program didn’t work well for me, so I dropped it and moved to the Netherlands and enrolled in UVA’s New Media and Digital Culture Master. After graduating, I started looking for a job since I can’t go back to either Saudi Arabia or Syria. And after few months of rigorous search and countless networking events, I was failing to stand out due to the fact that my experience was acquired in another country. This is when the idea crossed my mind: find a unique positioning for myself in the market. I’ve been doing it for brands for years. Then I decided to take it up a notch and turn it into a business idea. Most importantly, this is when I decided that something needs to be done to integrate all the new comers in the Dutch market.

What would you like to learn over the course of the program? 

How to navigate the Dutch legal system and how to turn an idea into a profitable business model.

Where do you see yourself in 2 years?

Running my own business.