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Khalil fled war in Syria; learned English and is now a gardener: We are refugees, but not profiteers
Brakel In The Kleppe, a holiday home for people with a disability, is since some time a Syrian refugee to work as garden and handyman. Khalil (26) fled 2013 for the war in Syria, eventually went in Geraardsbergen living, learned English and soon will the ICT world. “We are refugees, but no freeloaders”, considers he.

Khalil grew up in the Syrian countryside. He attended a higher training to be a medical laboratory technician. “I led a good life and then came the war,” said Khalil. The difficult conditions forced Khalil to leave his country.

“That was six years ago. I am when Syria left. I closed myself with a large group of people who decided to go in search of better living conditions. We joined us and went on the road to neighbouring Turkey. In that period were Syrian refugees are welcome in Turkey. We could there is easy to settle, but the conditions in Turkey were far from ideal. I could work, but I stayed illegally, without papers, and what I earned was too little to have a life to build. My wife and I have decided to go to Greece. Six months later, we were able to Belgium travel”, says Khalil.


With the help of the CPAS, he found a home in Geraardsbergen. In The Kleppe in Everbeek, he is working as a handyman. “I help with the care of the animals and brushing, but my primary responsibility is the garden. The Kleppe has a beautiful large garden that we are completely accessible for people with disabilities. In the vegetable garden, the meadow, the stables of the animals, there is always work. I especially enjoy the vegetable garden,” says Khalil.

Sow Syrian way

“I have here, by the way also our way of seeding was introduced: the Everbeekse parsley is now in the same way sown the Syrian, thousands of miles,” says the man with some pride. “I can assure everyone: no one chooses just for his country to leave without a real reason. And war is, unfortunately, such a real reason. In Syria my father had for me, already own a house bought, I had higher studies, I made plans to as a self-employed technician to start. My parents had a large farm with an olive grove of 500 trees. You don't want to leave, but I had to. And now, we adapt, and we live further. We are grateful for the opportunities that we got, but we are not profiteers. My wife and I work here now, both of them, we pay our rent and we pay taxes”, remember Khalil.

it specialist

Are temporary employment in The holiday home Kleppe expires soon. Khalil is now making plans to study in ICT. “I'm going to follow a training course and wants a job in the ICT. Of laboratory assistant on gardener to ICT-specialist. I build always move to a new way”, says Khalil.

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