It’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to the ongoing refugee crisis, which has been called the worst humanitarian emergency of this era.
Here’s a look at some of the most inspiring stories that highlight the spirit of the Syrian asylum-seekers as they try to start over in unfamiliar countries often with polar opposite cultures.
Family Of Aylan Kurdi Opens Hair Salon In Canada
The tragic picture of Aylan Kurdi's lifeless body on the Turkish shore became the face of the Syrian refugee crisis. After their arrival in Canada, his family has started a new life in British Columbia with huge support from the local community. Aylan's aunt Tima Kurdi, and her brother, Mohammad Kurdi, successfully launched their hair salon, Kurdi Hair Designs.
Mohammad said he puts in plenty of hard work to make the salon a success, while Tima said a passion for hairdressing runs in the family and hopes the New Year will bring an end to the sufferings and the violence.
Abdul Halim, Syrian Dad In Viral Photo Now Running Three Businesses
The picture of the frantic Syrian father Abdul Halim Al-Attar selling pens on the streets of Lebanon while carrying his daughter on his shoulder went viral last year, and also went on to become a symbol of the plight of refugees.
After a fundraising campaign raised an astounding $191,000 for them, Al-Attar decided to put the money to good use. He now has a bakery, sandwich shop and a small restaurant in Beirut, and employs 20 men, all Syrian refugees supporting their families.
Syrian Refugee Chefs Recreating The Taste Of Home In Turkey
The Salloura family lost their homes in Syria but no one could take away their spirit to embark on a new beginning. Putting their culinary skills to use, the Salloura family opened a bakery in Istanbul's Historic Fatih district. Mohammad Ayman, who fled Damascus and found work in the sweet shop, says, “These foods help people to feel connected with their homeland, who in Turkey feel lost.”
Nearby Abu Muamen owns a chicken shop. He is not always able to find the right ingredients, but nonetheless manages to make authentic Damascus-style street food. He is proud of the fact that despite challenges, he can employ Syrians and help them.
Syrian Refugees Helped In The UK Flooding
A group of Syrian refugees helped the people of Manchester, U.K., by building flood defenses. They were among volunteers filling sandbags to stem floodwater. It was their way to give back to the society who gave them a warm welcome. This happened right after hundreds of homes were flooded when the River Roch burst its banks in December.
Syrian refugees helping fill sandbags in Rochdale today. They say they want to repay the kindness shown to them. pic.twitter.com/NyUQQq5lAf— Helen Pidd (@helenpidd) December 29, 2015
Yasser al-Jassem, who reached Europe through Greece and was smuggled into the U.K. in a lorry from Calais, said he had seen images of the devastation on television and wanted to help.
“The people of Greater Manchester have been very good to us and so we wanted to offer our help to them,” he told the Manchester Evening News.
Syrian Refugee Serving Lentils And Rice To Homeless In Germany
Alex Assali, a Syrian refugee, became an overnight sensation last November when images of him preparing free food for homeless people in Berlin went viral. Every Saturday he sets up outside Berlin's Alexanderplatz station to give out hot meals to around 100 people. He is doing this to humbly thank Germany for giving him asylum.
Read More: Cheese Brings A Happy Ending For This Syrian Refugee In England
People all over the world have increasingly become hostile toward refugees. The influx of the asylum-seekers definitely does not indicate refugees are trying to snatch away the opportunities of people in host countries. Before we allow the usual stereotypes cloud our minds, we should take into consideration the hard work some of these helpless migrants are putting in to integrate with their host countries.