United World Project


Syria, the Saliba convenience store will soon lift its shutters


He thought he would be forced to leave his city, Homs, and his elderly parents to seek work in another country. Instead, 22-year-old Saliba is about to open a minimarket in the same place where his father worked as a glassmaker, destroyed by the war.

Saliba’s father’s shop has been destroyed, the street where it stood is full of rubble, the houses ripped apart by explosions. But Saliba did not give up, and with the strength of his 22 years and the determination of one who does not want to give up his roots, he is still there, in the city of Homs, in the Bab Tadmor Wadi al-Sayeh area where he lives with his parents and now has a precise project in mind that goes beyond the devastation caused by years of war.

Yet Saliba Al-Khory had other plans for his future. When he finished high school, he thought he would leave Homs and Syria to try to build new opportunities elsewhere. It was not in his neighbourhood that he would have imagined working. His father worked as a glassmaker in Homs, but lost everything during the war, including the tools he needed to practice his profession. It was impossible to resume business. The only income to support the family is the meagre pension that Saliba’s father receives.

So when the opportunity arose to start afresh from the rubble, Saliba didn’t shy away from the idea of reopening the shutter of his bullet-riddled shop to start a new business: the young man entered the RestarT (Ripartre per Restare) project, aimed at unemployed people with experience in the production or commercial sector. With this support – which includes the supply of tools and anything else needed to start up the business – Saliba is already working on transforming his father’s old glass workshop into a minimarket, where the shelves will also contain cheese, yoghurt and butter made by his mother.

Thanks to RestarT Saliba already has a refrigerator for drinks and an electricity generator, which will allow him to work even in the absence of electricity, as well as a range of products to sell, such as vegetables, oils, spices, coffee. This way the shop is not empty at the time of opening. Everything is now in boxes, but soon everything will be placed on shelves inside the minimarket.

His elderly father is always by his side, ready to help him even when the shutters are raised to start this new business here in Homs, a city Saliba no longer wants to leave. Since, however, beautiful things are accompanied by other beautiful things in the name of reciprocity, the young man expressed a wish: on days when the minimarket will be closed, Saliba will distribute food baskets to a number of families in need.

Support the opening of the Saliba minimarket and the RestarT programme in Syria.