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Syrian refugee eyes tailoring business in Saskatoon

Syrian refugee eyes tailoring business in Saskatoon
WATCH ABOVE: After failing to find work in his profession, a Syrian refugee hopes to open his own tailoring business in Saskatoon. Jihad Mohamed tells Stu Gooden that he is encouraged to start his own business in his new country.

A Syrian refugee who has been in Canada for less than a year is hoping to open up his own tailoring business.

Jihad Mohamed arrived in Saskatoon from Syria this past February with his wife and three children.

READ MORE: Syrian refugee families continue to settle in Saskatoon

Mohamed is a professional tailor and fashion designer back in his home country. After failed efforts to find work as a tailor, he decided to turn an empty room in his west-side home into a workshop.

“There is no business to get hired or to work,” Mohamed said. “It’s kind of encouraging for [me] to start [my] own business.”
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The 39 year-old was a factory supervisor in Syria, managing forty employees and responsible for twenty-five sewing machines. Right now, he has only one sewing machine to repair garments for neighbours.

“In the future I hope to find the support and the venue to open my own business,” he said.

READ MORE: Syrian refugees mark the one year anniversary of being welcomed to Canada

His brother-in-law Ismat Mohamad just moved to Saskatoon a few weeks ago from Syria. He said Jihad is talented and a tailoring business would succeed in Saskatoon.

“I believe the future for Jihad will be bright,” Mohamad said. “He’s a professional and he knows what he’s doing.”

Jihad and his wife are currently learning English at the Saskatoon Open Door Society.