Ahmad: Shaping the future thanks to renewable energy

May 9, 2024
Share on

At 36 years old, Ahmad Al-Zamel, a Syrian living in Irbid, Jordan, is an engineer turned entrepreneur. Thanks to the support of EDU-Syria, he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Energy Engineering at the University of Zarqa in Jordan. After graduating, he took on a managerial role in a solar energy company, proving both his expertise and commitment to the renewable energy sector. In 2022, he took a bold step forward and founded his own company in the same field.

Survival instinct

In 2013, faced with the grim reality of the war in Syria, Ahmad made the life-changing decision to leave the country. Originally from Daraa, he remembers a time when his life was still relatively normal – he was studying electrical engineering in Damascus. However, as the conflict intensified, his village was bombed, forcing Ahmad and his parents to seek refuge in Jordan.

Leaving his studies behind and with only a year left to complete his degree, Ahmad was confronted with the harsh truth of shattered dreams. Far away from his university studies, which he had left behind in Damascus, he was now living in the Zaatari refugee camp. Life there meant safety from the violence of war, but he lacked the opportunities for educational advancement. “The situation in the camp was difficult. There were neither opportunities nor a clear horizon for the students,” says Ahmad.

Determined to overcome these challenges, Ahmad began teaching maths and physics at a local school while tirelessly applying for grants and scholarships. “I wanted to finish my degree but had no money to go to university, so I started teaching maths and physics at a school”

Ahmad did not give up and persisted in his search for opportunities that could pave the way for him to complete his education. After successfully securing a coveted place at an engineering school in Syria, Ahmed had completed the demanding curriculum of the first three years. With just one year left, he had been on the verge of realising his dream.

The war may have pushed his goal far away, but Ahmed refused to let it out of his hands. Every opportunity, no matter how small, became a lifeline for him and he was determined not to let any chance go to waste. His determination carried him through the darkest times as he struggled to regain the educational endeavours interrupted by the conflict.

Resilience Unleashed: Triumphing Over Adversity

Amidst the hardships in the Zaatari refugee camp, Ahmad’s life changed when he received a scholarship as part of the “Support to Higher Education for Syrian Refugees and Vulnerable Host Youths” (EDU-SYRIA) project. Implemented by the German-Jordanian University (GJU) and funded by the European Union through the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis – the Madad Fund, enabled Ahmad to resume his studies in electrical engineering at the University of Zarqa.

After Ahmad resumed his studies, he proved his perseverance and determination by being among the best in his class despite all adversities. As there was no electricity in the Zaatari refugee camp, Ahmad had to study by candlelight. Despite this, Ahmad not only completed his studies, but also graduated with a remarkable honour. The doors that opened with his degree led him into the field of renewable energy, where he found his niche. Joining a solar energy company was the beginning of a dramatic development for Ahmad. Over the course of three years, he rose through the ranks thanks to his dedication and expertise until he was finally appointed Managing Director.

But Ahmad’s journey is not over yet. In 2022, he founded his own company, a testament to his expertise and foresight in the field of renewable energy. In his office in Irbid, in northern Jordan, Ahmad reflects on the remarkable path that has taken him from the devastation of a war-torn country to the helm of a successful business. Ahmad wants to give back to his community and provide career opportunities for unemployed engineers.

His commitment to renewable energy goes beyond his career choice and is deeply rooted in his belief in sustainability. “We are all about renewable energy now,” says Ahmad confidently. For him, switching to clean energy is not just a business decision, but a necessity for our planet.

Recognising the impact of rising fuel prices and the inevitable depletion of fossil fuels, Ahmad is determined to be at the forefront of the renewable energy movement. He says: “It’s clean energy and there is no pollution. Fossil fuels will eventually be used up. We are noticing the rise in fuel prices and everyone will turn to renewables.”

His message to the younger generation is one of hard work, perseverance and constant learning. “Success means discovering something new every day, being creative and developing in your field of work. It’s important that young people always have their dreams in mind.” He explains.

As he looks towards the bright future he has ahead, Ahmad remains hopeful, and above all, determined. He knows that he’s not just an entrepreneur; but a person to look up to, a testament to what resilience and education can do. Ahmad’s story is not just one of personal success but a narrative of resilience, perseverance, and a commitment to shaping a sustainable future.