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My Journey

Friends Who Inspire: Ahmad Alikaj

This post is a shameless plug to promote my friend Ahmad's YouTube channel.

We met in August 2014 when I went to Jordan to be part of Oasis500's acceleration program.

There I walked into the kitchenette to a quiet guy in the corner making himself some tea. As I was new to the building, we went though the typical formalities of self-introductions, background stories and current endeavors.

I wasn't quite prepared for the story he had to tell. It was one of war-ravaged cities in Syria, where it was commonplace to go months without electricity and running water, and where bombs exploding next door were routine.

It was one thing to hear the stories in the media and entirely another to hear it from someone who lived through it. That he and his family will not be able to return to Syria, nor can they leave Jordan (where they have taken refuge) with the option of returning, left me dumbfounded. Simple liberties that I had taken for granted my entire life.

Yet, there he was, smiling, jovial and making the most of each day, seeking to improve himself and the lives of those around him.

We share common interests, such as our love for food, calisthenics and metal music. We became great friends—lifelong friends.

He’s a hidden gem of talent and an overflowing well of inspiration.

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