Samir Abu Al Dahab, 76, from Syria

2018/05/24

“I have lived a happy life in all its stages, without any kind of deception. I believe that age is just a number, and that a person is as young as he feels. All throughout my life, I have been blessed, with a beloved wife, wonderful children and professional success. Overall, I have succeeded in achieving all my hopes and dreams and had the chance to travel and live many adventures. Honestly, it is nice to get older, especially if one continues on the journey of kindness.

“I am seventy-six years old and still love life, although it has not always been easy. When the tragic events hit my country – Syria, my family and I moved to Jordan. However, shortly after that, my beloved wife passed away, leaving me to a pretty dull life without her.  

When I came to Jordan I tried hard to get a job to earn a living because I did not want to sit at home. It's hard for someone who is used to work and giving to sit at home without doing anything valuable, but it was not easy for me, as my age was a barrier.

Thus, I began wanting to give back in a different way, getting involved within my community and volunteering, and this is how my journey started with HelpAge International. I saw the name on the banner and wondered what is it that they do. When I learned of HelpAge's commitments and work I was adamant about getting involved.

Becoming a part of this organization, made all the difference to me. It played a big role on my daily routine and my mental health. I highly enjoy my current role and love working to help people like me attend lectures and activities organized by HelpAge International's Knowledge & Resource Hub. when I see the smile on the faces of the elderly present after each activity, I feel like I have accomplished something good with my day.

 “Giving back is a very nice feeling, especially when you feel that you can make a difference for others. Over the years, I have realized that the older a person becomes, the more mature he becomes. Simply, one recognizes the importance of human relations rather than the other things. For me, the moments I get to spend with my family and my grandchildren are the times I value and cherish the most. Now, the moments I have spending time with a group of similar aged people at the Knowledge & Resource Hub makes my day and gives me something new to look forward to.

“I am also lucky enough to still be in touch with old friends, and I feel grateful to say that I have had some of the same friends for over two decades. Spending time with friends is also a time I value - talking, sharing news and playing cards. This only makes me hope, that more services and facilities for the older people in Jordan will be developed, especially on the level of health and entertainment.

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