"My name is Jory al Hamed and I am Syrian. I started studied computer engineering at the University of Damascus, but in 2013 I had to flee my country before finalizing my degree because of the insecurity and the political situation. It was my first time outside of Syria, and Iraq is the first and only country I have traveled to. I moved to Qustabah camp in Erbil; leaving home is the most difficult thing I have ever done.
I grew up in Damascus, the best place to be and the city I love the most. I miss everything about it; my friends and my memories are there, and it is difficult to be a refugee. But I overcome these feelings by continuously improving my skills and holding on to hope for the future. I still hope that I can have a better life and finish my studies, and I dream that I can one day own a software company.
When the team from Re:Coded [a humanitarian startup that trains conflict-afflicted youth to become tech leaders] came to our camp and announced that they would start a programme to teach coding and web development, I was very excited and immediately decided to join. It proved to be a good experience because I developed my programming skills, which were still lacking, and I am proud that I can now build web applications.
Discovering coding was an amazing experience. Re:Coded has not only given me computer skills, though: I have also made many new friends, from Iraq and abroad. I would like to help people learn more about coding, it is a fascinating science.
I have worked with IOM and Re:Coded under a joint initiative to teach children at Qustabah camp how to develop video games. It was totally new idea for the kids, I taught them the basics of scratch programming language to crate interactive stories and animate them. They were very happy.
For me, home now is where I can have freedom and where I can have a better life. I now know that we learn from all experiences, whether good or bad, and wish everyone peace and a good life."