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One of the most amazing aspects that I learned living in the Netherlands is that it’s never too late to change your life. I thought, as many people also do: “I will not start doing this – learning a new language, studying, changing jobs, changing countries, now?!” Well, live and learn.

The story of Anis

Hi, my name is Anis, I’m a 43-year-old refugee from Yemen, and I work as a web developer at Pionect. I came with my family to the Netherlands in 2018 due to the still ongoing war in Yemen that started in 2015.

I had what can be considered a good career in Yemen before the war started, which kept me afloat for the first couple of years during the war. With the situation getting worse, and without any prospect of things getting better, we realised that we could not wait any longer, or my worst fear would come true –  we would come to a point when it would be too late for us to leave. We left everything behind and decided to start a new life. Me, my wife Nesreen, my 3-year-old son Yusuf, and my 11-month-old daughter Sara, chose the Netherlands in 2018 to be our new home. We went through a lot, but we learned a lot as well. We learned a new language, a new way of looking at things, and how to start overcoming our fears. Our best chance to resume our lives was to get back to work as fast as possible, which required both of us to learn new skills fast. We were both lucky to find great people along the way. I was lucky to have found “Hack Your Future” – an organisation that helps people with limited access to the labour market learn to code and find jobs in tech. I am thankful, not only for their continuous support but also for the fact that with them I had to challenge myself once again. Through ‘Hack Your Future’ I found a job with Pionect, a company with which I had my 2 year anniversary in June 2022. It was difficult at first, and at times it still is, but it is an enjoyable experience nevertheless. Learning never stops, and is never easy, but I think it never should be, as your growth comes from the challenges you face. I have a great team and great mentors at Pionect who help me overcome those challenges. Looking 4 years back, I never would have thought to be in the place where I am now, and I realise that nothing is holding you from living the life you want. Not war, not age, not language, nothing. For that realisation alone, I am forever grateful.

Anis Alkomem

May 2018 in Aden port before leaving Yemen.

May 2018 in Aden port before leaving Yemen.