Zubair is a 35 year old young man from Pakistan, living the last 13 years in Greece.
He was born and raised in Mangowal Gharbi, a town, in Gujrat District in Pakistan, the 1st child of a family with 6 children.
Financial reasons forced him to leave his homeland and come to Greece for a better future. Greece was not a random choice at all; His cousins and many compatriots had already come in Athens as economic migrants. Zubair came in Greece through Iran and Turkey, staying at first with his cousins in a flat in Athens.
The first months in Athens, managed to earn money, by working as a tailor, a job that used to do also in Pakistan.
Were there any challenges & obstacles for him?
“I still miss my parents and siblings a lot”, he explains. “But, having my cousins here and many friends, feels really familiar”. “I don’t think I have had many difficulties so far. The only obstacle I had to face in my everyday life was to understand & communicate in Greek”, Zubair says.
That was the reason he went to learn the Greek language at the Athens’ Open School of Migrants & Refugees, a volunteers’ solidarity group offering Greek language lessons pro bono. By improving gradually his Greek language skills, he found soon a new job at the warehouse of a big construction company, where he works until now, managing to earn his income and have his insurance, being to renew his residence card.
However, the Greek language hasn’t been just a tool for socialization and survival in Greece for Zubair. It has been also a great motivation for him to study, learn the Greek culture, and broaden his horizons – in Pakistan, he finished only junior high school.
With a lot of practice and lot of will, he passed the Greek language exams and started attending evening high school lessons as well, after work.
Being diligent & studious enough, he managed to be the most successful high school student last year among his class and the flag bearer at the school parades in National Days. Except for working and studying, he loves walking at the historical centre of Athens and visiting museums and cultural places.
Zubair is now a school graduate, preparing to take the Panhellenic Examinations, the Greek University Entrance Exams.
“I would like to study computer science and have later my own business in Greece”, he says.
📚 His favorite book is the adventure novel “Around the World in Eighty Days” of Jules Verne, the 1st novel that read in Greek.
🍽️ His favorite traditional recipe is chicken biryani.