Mazeb Shaheen (Abu Wisam) is a Syrian Investor who has lost his house and workshops to move from being an investor and employer into a worker inside a car at a neighbourhood in Damascus.
After moving to Al-Muahjireen neighbourhood he had to come up with any idea to provide his family. One day he noticed an old Volkswagen parked without any use in Al-Salihiyah area, he searched for the owner then offered him to rent it. He simply turned the car into a small workshop for mending clothes. About the difficulties he faces, with a peaceful smile, he answers: “In summer it is burning hot, and in winter freezing cold, but that never makes me complain or lament my fortune.” He is proud of what he is doing and of the way he is doing it.
Passers-by often stop to greet him and express their admiration for his hard work and strong will to never give up. Abu Wissam says: “I feel happy when some people stop by to tell me that they admire my work, or that I inspire them, it means the world to me!”
Despite the very difficult circumstances he gathered himself up and decided to make something from the very little sources he found available. Losing a workshop and a shop, as well as his home was not easy for him and his family as they were left literally without anything. Abu Wisam says that his 3 children are the source of his strong will and motivation to work and survive.
When asked why hasn’t he migrated among the waves of refugees that left the country, he said that it never crossed his mind even for a second to leave the country because death is definite whether in Syria or somewhere else, no one can escape death. “I prefer to die in my country dignified, this is better for me and my family,” says abu Wisam.
With a wink and a warm smile, he says goodbye placing an outstanding example of what hope literally means.