As you may have gathered from the VISIONEERS e.V. website and past blogs, we as a team emphasize the very important aspect of making good connections with people on a regular basis— whether those connections be professional or personal—through our multi-faceted volunteer opportunities, cooking events and creative workshops. In light of this emphasis to mediate great connections, we will be posting short bios about who’s who at VISIONEERS. In this way you can get to know who might be coming to your corporate sponsored cooking event to help prepare your food; who has been leading our creative workshops with an entrepreneurial eye; and who you might expect to be working with at your next volunteer opportunity with VISIONEERS.
To kick of this bio series, I would like to introduce Omar from Damascus in Syria. Omar is 23 years old and has been living in Berlin for about a year now.
Upon your first meeting Omar, you can immediately assume he is going to be a genuine and sweet person. If it’s not for his constant smiling eyes, it’s for his humor and humility. With a clear affinity to communication, Omar was able to learn English and German, “out of the air,” as he puts it. He says he picked up English on his own through watching TV shows and listening to songs he likes. Since moving to Berlin, however, Omar has taken up German and attends language classes regularly. Because of his facility in the art of communication, he has picked up the German language rather quickly and on occasion serves as an Arabic-German-English translator for many of our corporate sponsored cooking events.
Almost a year ago, in November of 2015, Omar was introduced to VISIONEERS through a friend who lived in Berlin-Schöneberg. With his impressive and charming communication skills, he immediately became a great addition to VISIONEERS' network and an important person when it came to breaking language barriers between some of our non-German/non-English speaking refugees and our non-Syrian Arabic speaking staff. When VISIONEERS' first corporate cooking contract took off, Omar was our person of choice when it came to communicating with company leaders and employees during weekly events and relaying information back to the other Syrian chefs. Omar says he was introduced to cooking through these events and now loves cooking and considers it a hobby. His favorite part about cooking is the small detail that goes into the presentation of a dish. He loves to make each plate look just perfect.
In addition to cooking and furthering his languages skills, Omar participates in VISIONEERS' mentoring programs (which you can learn more about here). When he is free from language classes and VISIONEERS' events, Omar likes to play sports, work on his fitness and spend time with his friends and girlfriend, Silva. In the future, he hopes to earn a professional career in computer programing for cars and/or IT. He also says that he sometimes considers becoming a professional translator because he loves communicating with other people, learning new cultures, and making new friends. Actually, he believes that the thing that is most special to him in his life is to learn about people and accept them for who they are and where they come from. He says that, because he is Muslim, he knows that the religion can be interpreted to be “judgmental” towards certain lifestyle choices—like drinking alcohol, for example—but Omar disagrees with these sorts of “judgmental” views. He says that he strives to get to know people for whom they are and never wants to be the type that judges anybody in respect to the choices they make. He says anybody can be his friend; it doesn’t matter where they come from or what they do as long as they are good people.