Abdulrahman Naseb, 24, has overcome a lot in his short life. Originally from Syria, he came to Jordan at the height of the crisis with a dream of becoming a pastry chef.
As the years ticked by, Abdulrahman began to feel hopeless; he did not hold any credentials and life as a Syrian in Jordan was not easy. Finally, in 2018 he heard about a technical and vocational education and training program being offered at Luminus Technical University College (Al Quds College), in Amman. Through a project implemented by UNESCO, scholarships were being offered to Syrian and Jordanian students, funded by the Government of the Republic of Korea. Applicants did not require successful Tawjihi (high school accreditation) scores to participate and among the diploma programmes being offered was a Hospitality Course.
“I needed to prove to myself that life doesn’t stop without Tawjihi and to remember that you must work hard to achieve your goals. It was important to stop looking at this as an obstacle and start looking at it as an opportunity”. Abdulrahman was accepted into the Hospitality course and chose to specialize as a dessert and pastry chef.
“I have mastered cookies and am still learning cheesecake, one version of which is difficult. I never look at things as impossible; eventually, if you keep trying, there is nothing too difficult”. Abdulrahman completed his course work in October 2018 and then went on to his practical training which concluded last month. “During my practicum, Executive Chef Ms. Dareen Salah became a mentor to me. I continue to consult her about my career and take her suggestions”.
At a new restaurant opening soon in the Abdali Boulevard, Abdulrahman will begin working as a pastry chef. He feels excited but also some level of trepidation. In the past, he has been treated poorly by some would-be employers. “At one recent interview, the employer was speaking unkindly to me. Finally, he said he would give me the job but then offered me a salary that not even a child would accept”. As he waits to begin his new role, he works on the side as a clown, performing at parties and events.
Abdulrahman’s ultimate goal is to continue to his education so that he can pursue his craft working as a pastry chef in a high-end, five-star hotel. Despite all of the adversity, Abdulrahman has never stopped dreaming.
Abdulrahman’s scholarship is one of the 250 scholarships offered under this project, supporting access to meaningful, accredited post-basic education for 75 vulnerable Jordanian youth and 175 Syrian refugee youth in Jordan. The UNESCO Amman office has been taking a leadership role in ensuring the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Jordan. Sustainable Development Goal 4 focuses on ensuring inclusive and quality education for all and promoting lifelong learning.