A Syrian high-flyer


My name is Sami I came to the UK in 2015 because of threats to my life due to my political activities against the Syrian government. The intelligence forces arrested my family, so I had to flee to Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and finally the UK.

I completed my undergraduate degree in architectural design at Damascus university in 2008 and I worked as an architect for three years until the revolution broke out in March 2011. During my residence in Turkey, I wasn’t able to practice architecture because of the language barrier. In the UK, I struggled to find job in architecture because the Syrian certificate is not recognized. Besides that, I had a gap of five years which made is even harder to compete for work. I was ambitious and determined to move forward in my career as a professional, so I decided to go back to school and I got a scholarship to study a master’s degree in Scotland. The Scholarship covered only the tuition fees; I was desperately looking for financial support to cover some basics during the year. The part-time job wasn’t something I can rely on because the program of study very intense and there is no time for any extra work if I was to achieve good marks.

 I found Restart through searching online, I sent them an email and I was expecting the response that I had received for every request for support I sent, rejection, I was wrong, Restart reignited my hope that I would have the opportunity to get back on my feet again, something that I was beginning to believe was frankly impossible. The process was smooth and flexible, and I realised that my relationship with Restart was built upon trust and support.

Right after I finished my masters, I was offered a position with FDM Group in London, and I am now at the last stage of assessment process for a replacement with Atos and PWC in London. This masters certificate made recognizable for the employers in the UK and bridge the knowledge gap because of years of displacement and usability that I went through. Thank you Restart!

Restart Refugee Support