A Syrian family who moved to Merseyside in 2017 now have a successful business with two shops in the town centre.
Tahsen Abbar fled his native Syria in 2014 with his family and traveled to Lebanon after the country’s war broke out in 2011. Tahsen, 38, has lived in Bootle for five years and owns two tech stores in the Liverpool city centre.
The father-of-three told ECHO he first built a computer nearly 20 years ago and has since expanded his knowledge of technology to the point where he now deals with computer repairs. computers, tablets and phones with his brother Mohammad Abbar. The two stores, one on London Road and the other which recently opened on the corner of Dale Street and Moorfields, are booming as Tahsen has steadily saved up and started the business after arriving in Merseyside without being able to speak English.
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He told ECHO: “I left Syria in 2014, the war started in 2011, and in those three years it was not safe. I saw a lot of things. It’s a bad government Before the war there were 23 million people living there, now there are only 18 million.
“There are about four million people in jail and two million people have been killed because they don’t like the government. There is no freedom of speech. Now my country is so bad. I can’t explain it. There’s no money, coronavirus, it’s very bad.”
Tahsen was able to settle down with his wife Shefaa Ziadeh, 29, son Abdul Malik, six, and daughter Rawda, nine, before having their second daughter Mariam, who is now three. When Tahsen settled down, he then managed to welcome his brother and two sisters to the country.
Mohammad, 29, and his sisters Fatema, 31, and Somaya, 42, followed soon after, living a short drive from Tahsen’s house. Despite their success since arriving in the country, it wouldn’t have been like this if it hadn’t been for Munzi Ali from the Sefton Multicultural Centre.
Munzi plays a key role in the Islamic community in South Sefton and helps refugees settle in the country when they are first granted asylum in the UK. Munzi, with guidance from the Liverpool Region Mosque Network, was able to support Tahsen and his family.
He told ECHO: “It encourages me to continue doing this work, especially seeing where Tahsen is and other people as well. We have also helped a family from Afghanistan and we see how much they are desperate when they first arrive.
“For us we take freedom for granted, but we recently helped a gentleman who didn’t want to come out of the house because he was so scared. For them to see a welcoming face really makes a difference.
“We also distribute food through a food bank and that’s the reaction you get. I delivered food to an older couple and they literally hugged me. It was quite emotional to think how lucky we are when there are people like that struggling.”
Tahsen added: “The center was very important, why? Because when we moved here, I had nothing. I had no food, no money, no nothing. We have a very strong community in the area. In Crosby, I see other people like Munzi and that’s my family.