Gelenau – Syrian specialist learns the ropes.
In an interview with Saxony’s largest newspaper, the Freie Presse, our employee Mr. Waleed Zeitoun (International Sales and Service) reported on his home country Aleppo and the dangerous escape from the war…
By Matthias Degen, freelance journalist and photographer on behalf of the Freie Presse
©Copyright: Chemnitzer Verlag und Druck GmbH & Co. KG, published on 25/02/2017
“(…)With his family, Waleed Zeitoun fled from Aleppo. In Gelenau, the engineer found a new professional home in Sigma Medizin-Technik. His manager appreciates his experiences.
GELENAU. Waleed Zeitoun concentrates on his screen, compares the entries in a table with his handwritten figures, makes corrections and supplements the associated services. Latvia and Korea are on his calendar as business meetings. “Both are very important for future business relations and I would like to get well prepared inside the plane,” emphasizes the Syrian.
Since August, Waleed Zeitoun has been working in the international sales and service department for SIGMA Medizin-Technik, which manufactures medical devices for neurological diagnoses under the Neurowerk brand at the Business Park Am Gruendel in Gelenau. This activity is not new for the engineer, who can already refer to 15 years of sales and service experiences in the same function. “I already know a lot of European companies since my work in Aleppo,” he says. As a civil war refugee, he and his family fled from the city one year ago. “Aleppo is hell,” he says. Since 2012, civil war has prevailed in the city in North Syria, in which wo million inhabitants still lived. Again and again, he and his wife Muzna Al Khuder had hoped for a peaceful solution to the conflict and wanted to save the children from fleeing to Europe. In vain.
When the extensive bombardment made a normal life in the country’s second largest city impossible and its business partners broke off contacts with the civil war country, the family fled to Egypt, got a flight ticket to Frankfurt and was sent to Berlin. After the usual entry formalities and the participation in a German course, Waleed Zeitoun sent applications all over Germany.
In Gelenau, Dr. Jochen Schwind took notice of the expert. “Qualified specialists are hard to get in our industry,” the general manager explains the first interview. That he is a Syrian war refugee with a residence permit is subsidiary. “Waleed Zeitoun has extensive experience in the distribution of neurological functional diagnostics, speaks perfect business English and has excellent IT skills,” adds the graduated medical technician. In a perpetual employment after a successful probationary period, he sees no risk, but a professional enrichment for his 24 employees. Waleed Zeitoun is pleasantly surprised by his new work environment. “The colleagues are very attentive to me, the company climate is family-like,” he emphasizes, and he abandon a prejudice over board: “Abroad, German companies are mostly described by a hierarchical management style and a lot of bureaucracy.”
On the other hand, Zeitoun wishes to change his mind. “In the German media, foreigners are always shown as danger, which is not true.” He knew many refugees who had to leave their country and find their place in the workplace. Since the beginning of this year also his family lives in Chemnitz. The eight-year-old daughter makes first progress at school, and her three-year-younger brother feels comfortable in the kindergarten. (…) ”
We would like to thank Mr. Degen and the Freie Presse Chemnitz for the successful report and are delighted to have gained another dedicated and well-trained colleague with Mr. Zeitoun.