De Glimlach: “Syrian Fady finds his way in Oldenzaal”
2 juli 2019
Bron: de Glimlach van Oldenzaal
Fady Saliba Haidow (32) fled his native Syria in 2013. After many wanderings, he ended up as a status holder in Oldenzaal. Thanks to his focus on the Dutch language, he is now self-employed and runs his own driving school.
In March 2019, Fady had his driving instructor papers in and started working for himself as a driving school entrepreneur on June 1, 2019. He offers driving lessons in the region under the name ‘Fady One.’ His customers are both native Dutch and Arabic-speaking migrants. Fady: “I will, of course, address the latter group in Dutch as much as possible.”
‘Fady One’ suggests that more will follow, and Fady doesn’t rule that out either. Fady: “I hope to grow and later employ instructors. As far as I’m concerned, all of Overijssel will be my working area.”
Fady has his own approach to theory instruction. Fady: “I have small groups of no more than 4 students. I also regularly take the students to ride in my car, a class on wheels. They then learn the theory using real traffic situations, theory in practice, you could call it.”
Fady studied Arabic literature in Damascus and taught language in Syria, so he does have a knack for languages. Fady fled Syria in 2013 because he would have to serve in the army. By boat, by train, by foot, and in a truck, via Turkey, Greece, Italy, and Germany, he finally arrived at the AZC in Ter Apel, where he applied for asylum. After one and a half months, he received his residence permit. The Netherlands seemed ideal for him to settle because two of his sisters were already living there. Six months after receiving his refugee status, Fady came to live in Oldenzaal. He had only one priority from his first step on Dutch soil: learning the Dutch language! In addition to the civic integration course, Fady participated in Taalpunt and Praathuis (both initiatives for newcomers to practice the language). Fady immediately stood out there as a model student. He also studied Dutch at Saxion and Windesheim, level C1.
Fady is now also working as a volunteer interpreter. Fady: “If you don’t speak the language of your country, you can’t get anywhere. Fady has worked as a volunteer in the canteen of VV De Esch. In 2018, Fady became overall club champion at Table Tennis Quick 20. Fady: “That’s how I got to learn Twenthe in passing!” In 2016, Fady got a job at Hotel Bloemenbeek. He was also able to grow there -in the meantime as ‘Chef de rang’- but entrepreneurship beckoned.
Fady is quite proud of his career so far. He is happy with the Netherlands as a country of settlement because of the good reception and the opportunities it offers. Fady would like to give refugees, who are looking for a future in the Netherlands, the following advice: “Learn the language, join a sports club, sign up for voluntary work and take your chances, nobody will do that for you!”