Combining architecture with coding

Originally from Damascus, Syria, Nizar is exactly the type of multitalented professional that many companies are looking to hire: an architect with coding skills. In the future, he wishes to be able to combine his know-how of the two fields, and perhaps start his own business with his wife, who is also a trained architect.

Back in Syria, 26-year-old Nizar worked as an architect, an animator and as a Flash games developer. In addition to his degree in architecture, he studied system information engineering for a year at university.

To put it simply, Nizar is a multitalented professional with exactly the type of skillset many companies would love to have.

“My wife is also an architect, and we used to throw ideas around a lot, which was really fruitful.”

Nizar says he loves to draw and read. Developing himself in general is essential to him.

“I read a lot of inspiring self-help literature”, he admits.

Persecuted for their religion

Nizar had to leave Syria because sadly, Christians are currently persecuted in the country. At the same time, there is no time limitation for army service at the moment because of the continuing war, and there was a high chance he would get drafted to the military. For these reasons, Nizar and his wife made the difficult decision of leaving, in spite of the fact that they had to leave their parents and siblings behind.

Originally, their plan had been to go to Germany, and they even studied the German language for a couple of months. However, it turned out that the visa process in Germany was remarkably slow, possibly taking up to a year. The situation in Syria was so threatening that they had to come up with a new plan that would allow them to get to safety more rapidly.

When researching different options, Nizar read about Finland and its culture, way of living, education, work possibilities and immigration policy. He learned that it was possible to get a visa to Russia very quickly, and continue to Finland from there.

The journey to Finland was hard. In order to get to the Finnish border, Nizar and his wife were forced to resort to refugee smugglers..

“Still, we were extremely lucky. We witnessed several refugees losing their lives in those cold and harsh conditions in Russia”, Nizar says.

They made it to Salla in January 2016. Luckily, things happened fast after their arrival: they had their interview with the immigration officials after a wait of only a few days. They were placed in the refugee center of Tallukka in Vääksy, where they stayed until Nizar got accepted into the Integrify training program.

“Integrify is an unmissable opportunity”

Nizar says that when he found about Integrify, he thought of it as a chance that he couldn’t miss:

“By attending the training program, I’m taking my first concrete steps in the IT field. I already started a programming job at Integrify’s main partner, Nord Software! My ultimate dream is to somehow combine my architectural knowledge with coding.”

He would like to stay in Finland with his wife, hopefully getting the chance to work together with her in their shared field of expertise. He says they have even talked about starting their own business.
“Thanks to Integrify, I’m well on my way to fulfilling my own professional dreams. Next, I want to help my wife fulfill her dreams.”

Nizar says that he hasn’t encountered racism in Finland:

“I like the Finnish way of life and culture. I’m very thankful to be safe and to have the opportunity to build a good life for me and my wife.”