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Syrian Refugees Relish the Taste of Home with Table Tennis | Camps to Champs

November 4, 2019

My name is Adham
I am from Syria. I am a table tennis trainer. I am 41 years old. Table tennis was originally
just a hobby for me, but I developed my skills
so much that I now coach it. Now it’s more than
just a great game. Ping pong is my life. (CAMPS TO CHAMPS) (THE POWER OF SPORT
SPORT AMONGST THE SYRIANS.) This charity requires
each coach to have at least 15 students. I currently have 53 students. I actually had to
stop registration or I would have
more than 100 students My main rule for incoming
students is if you’re here just for fun
then this is not the place. If you’re here to learn
then I welcome you. (SAMANTHA MURRAY (GBR)
THE CAMP.) Here we are. We have a table tennis
championship right now. Yeah. We’ll draw the names then
you’ll play your opposition for the first round. This guy here, he’s the star,
the champion. Organise the tournament. Yeah. So he’s the champion. – Yeah.
– Table tennis player… Wow! A lot of these men, most of them have, like,
skills from back home but they can’t necessarily
do here, like engineering and some of them are teachers. The mad thing is, it is
literally a 20-minute drive in one direction to their home. I can’t imagine being… so…so near, yet so far
from all the comforts and everything that was
my identity. Well, I think a lot of them
are hoping, waiting for that day when
they can return home. Adham won. Adham won. Well done, Congratulations! Thank you. And you get the trophy. There you go! Sport is a thing
without borders. Sport is more than amazing. This is for our much-loved
big boss. I’m one of those who have
suffered many injuries and if I wasn’t an athlete, I wouldn’t have been able
to walk. Sport for me, is health,
it’s recovery. It’s my entire livelihood. So, your story,
why you are in Zaatari, where did that begin, were
you…why did you leave Syria? I was one of the people
joining demonstrations. It was a peaceful
demonstration. We would shout “peaceful” and they would reply
with guns and Kalashnikovs. I got wounded in the knee and so, like all the other
Syrian revolutionaries, they raided the houses
in our area, in Deraa. They took around 20 wanted men. They took us to a nearby area.
They lined us up against a wall and it was a mass execution. I was the only one
to get out alive. They left me for dead,
not knowing I had survived. There was a sea of blood
beneath us. Even those who came to help us
thought we’d all be dead. How did you,
from that injured state, collect yourself,
your family and travel to, I presume, here the camp is maybe
a few days’ walk or a long ride from your home?
How did that happen? There were a lot of volunteers,
may God reward them. I grabbed one of their legs
and pulled him down. He started screaming… “God is great!
One is still alive!” They pulled me out but I couldn’t get
any treatment right away. They transported us here to
Jordan and treated me here. Nobody believes I’m injured
unless I tell them I am. So I don’t let my injury show. I try to look strong
in front of everyone. Especially my children, I don’t like them thinking
Daddy is weak. It’s very, very difficult. To lose hope in the most
precious thing to you. Your country. Homeland is very dear,
it’s all your belonging. But the Zaatari camp
is not a homeland. Zaatari is a place
that we can be safe from the oppression
of the regime. But it’s not a place where my children or I
can have a future. From a father’s point of view, what are the difficulties
that you face here in terms of helping
your children and guiding them
as they grow up in the camp? We’re trying
as hard as possible to keep our principles, values,
customs and traditions, but using what is available
Everyone loves sport. There’s nothing better
than sport. I wish we had a banner
we could raise high that says sports are
for everyone.


  • Reply Odote Ondiek April 16, 2017 at 12:04 am


  • Reply Farwa Asghar April 16, 2017 at 12:20 am


  • Reply Knight Davion April 16, 2017 at 12:40 am

    his form is bad

  • Reply Abo Aljoj April 16, 2017 at 1:13 am


  • Reply cherryblossom April 16, 2017 at 6:35 am

    What an inspiring man.. hats off to your strong faith and courage 👏

  • Reply Geomike TV April 16, 2017 at 8:53 am

    You are the best do not let anybody stop you man god bless you and god bless all Syrian people:).

  • Reply Saifalla Mohammed April 16, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    I think he's actually from Iraq cuz his speech is Syrian.

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