Field Ready:Stories What its like "making" in Syria, Usamah and Hamada share their experiences

Field Ready works with amazing staff from all over the world, each of whom has a wide range of skills and expertise. Usamah and Hamada are both vital members to our team in Syria, working on disaster response and disaster risk reduction projects.

Usamah is 33 years old, having attended school in Aleppo and earned his University degree in Mechanical Engineering. Until the onset of the Syrian Civil War, he lived and worked in Aleppo, obtaining a variety of jobs. These included packing machine maintenance, making factories' horizontal lifters and hydraulic pistons and consulting for rescue and firefighting equipment.

Usamah

Hamada was born in a small town in the countryside of Aleppo where he attended school and graduated from Aleppo University with a degree in Engineering in 2001. For five years he worked in the Technical Services Department of the local government, responsible for the maintenance of cars, trucks and equipment. After that I worked in a textile factory. Then began to work in the Syrian Civil Defense as head of the technical office in Aleppo, responsible for cars and technical equipment until the opportunity to join Field Ready emerged.

Hamada

In the year 2012, Aleppo became entrenched in the Syrian civil war and life became very difficult for both men.

Usamah’s house was destroyed in a number of air strikes and he was forced to flee his hometown, ending up displaced along the Turkey-Syrian border like so many other Syrian refugees. He and his family now reside in a village 65 kilometers away from Aleppo.

Testing the airbag

Usamah and Hamada heard about Field Ready and shortly thereafter began to work again in a field that interested them again.

When Usamah was asked what interested him in working with Field Ready, he replied, “The most important thing that motivated me to work with Field Ready is the idea that humanitarian supplies can be made in the field, using modern technology to make products that help people who are suffering from crises. That’s exactly what my people need nowadays. It's like I found my passion for making things and inventions with Field Ready. What is impressive when we work together is that we deal with each other like a family, and that's really great”.

Hamanda was intrigued with working for Field Ready for similar reasons, "I was most attracted to work at Field Ready because of the wonderful nature of its work. It’s about approaching the most difficult challenges differently. This stimulates creativity within us and provides a change to serve my community in a different way from other organizations. My ambition is to invent easy and uncomplicated ways of addressing technical and technical problems in my country. With Field Ready, I am working, learning and always add to my experience."

Although the work is exciting, there are numerous risks and difficulties in this line of work.

“Working in Syria involves a lot of risks. you're exposed to bombing, air strikes and car bombs at any time, so you'll probably get hurt or lose your life at any moment. Moreover, traveling is not easy and not safe. you can't go and travel anytime you like. Sometimes a whole area and villages are closed temporarily because of war conditions and there are very dangerous areas like areas on the front lines”.

-Usamah

Usamah and Hamada are currently working on developing projects that save many lives and reduce people's suffering. One of the current projects is the rescue airbag, which can lift heavy debris caused by bombings. These airbags are used for search and rescue and are powerful enough to remove up to several tons. Usamah came up with the design and way to manufacture them. Under this project, 100 airbags are being made and distributed in free areas of Northern Syria.

Usamah holding an inflated airbag

The airbag are a 90% reduction of traditional procurement methods. They are not only able to be locally manufactured but also meet British safety standards. The devise can lift up to five tons!

"I enjoy working in Syria. It gives me a chance to feel that I’m a reason to alleviate the suffering of children and other people who deserve a lot better life"

-Hamada

When asked about impact, both men had positive reactions to the innovation. Hamada expressed that rescue workers were very pleased with the airbag, and that they are optimistic that it will be used frequently in rescue operations.

When Usamah was asked how people have responded to their work in Syria, he simply replies, “They are inspired and amazed that we could make things with simple materials and equipment, and those products are efficient and reliable. People now really respect what we do, and try to help us. It's something totally new in Syria”.

The first time the airbags were used in a rescue operation, successfully saved a mother and her child

How do you see the future…under the circumstances, are you a pessimist or an optimist?

As an aid worker, I have to be an optimist! It’s sometimes hard to remember life without war but I know that one day it will end and we can go back to peace to rebuild our country. I want to be a big part of that and hope Field Ready can be too

-Hamada

Humanitarian Supplies Made-in-the-Field

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