From Syria to Owlin

05 SEPTEMBER 2016, AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
Summary
Two of Owlin’s recent hires are from Syria. Recently the NRC published an article about Ahmed. Now it is time that we put them both in the spot light. Here are the Q&As of Ahmed Younes and Rabih Alqawareet.

Two of Owlin’s recent hires are from Syria. Recently the NRC published an article about Ahmed. Now it is time that we put them both in the spot light. Here are the Q&As of Ahmed Younes and Rabih Alqawareet.

  • Could you introduce yourself and tell something about yourself?
  • (AY): Hello, my name is Ahmed Younes. I am from Damascus, Syria. I am 26 years old and I studied Law on the university of Damascus. I studied Japanese for a year and additionally I worked for an online gaming company in Damascus for a year and a half before I came to the Netherlands.
    (RA): My name is Rabih Alqawareet and I am 26 years old. I am born and raised in the oldest city of the world, namely Damascus, Syria. After graduating high school, I wanted to travel and discover the world and I therefore applied to the University of Lattakia to study tourism. However, my passion for technology that I developed during school was stronger and I then came up with idea of combining the two and study abroad. I applied for a couple of scholarships across the world and got accepted to study in Russia. In Russia I studied in Tver, a nice and cozy city between Moscow and Saint Petersburg where I obtained my bachelor degree in computer science. After graduation, I could not go home since I had to serve in the military which I was quite scared of due to all current developments in Syria. Additionally, there was nothing left to come back to and thus I decided to go to the Netherlands.

  • Could you tell me a little bit how life in the azc was?
  • (AY): Well, in general life is boring at the azc unless you do some voluntary work to fill your time. After my arrival in the Netherlands, I joined a coding school called “Hack Your Future” to learn some programming. That is how I mostly spend my time at the azc. After I finished the “Hack Your Future” course, they connected me to Owlin to do an internship.
    (RA): I came to the Netherlands and ended up in the azc. Life in the azc was seeing war through the eyes of people who lived the war. In the azc I followed a project called “Hack Your Future” which is a highly intensive course of six months in web development aimed to help refugees make a new start. After I completed the program, a couple of companies were interested to offer me an internship. One of these companies was Owlin who got me very enthusiastic after the first interview.

  • Right now you are working for Owlin. What do you think of Owlin so far?
  • (AY): I really like working at Owlin. As I said I’m new to programming the only knowledge I have Is from the 6 months’ internship I did at Hack Your Future, and because of that I ask a lot of questions and people here are nice enough to bear with my questions which might be stupid Sometime.
    (RA): Owlin is a very innovative and challenging company driven by a team of passionate and talented professionals that are going to make a difference in the technology world and bring us a whole new meaning about news. What I like about working for Owlin is that everything we do at the company is “Owlined”. What I mean by this is that there are always new challenges which keep me motivated and from which I learn a lot. Additionally, I really like the atmosphere where I get my own space along with open-mind and supportive colleagues where my productivity is boosted to the max!

  • What are you goals in the near future? How do you see yourself in 10 years?
  • (AY): I would like to keep improving my programming skills. I hope that I will not be asking as much questions to my peers in 10 years as I do now.
    (RA): For the coming 10 years I am planning to develop myself and gain a lot of experience followed with a master’s degree, probably in the field of ‘data science’. This is something that I recently considered after working for Owlin. Also, I would love to learn the Dutch and Italian language.

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About the Company:

Amsterdam-based Owlin has been developing news search and analysis tools since its inception in 2012. Owlin's proprietary search and analysis software helps you gain control over the wealth of information on the internet. Owlin scans more than 2 million news sources around the world, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 'turns the news into actionable intelligence'.

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