My father is a Mechanical Engineer, my Grandfather too!
Mohamad Youssef Kinat, a Syrian mechanical engineer moved from Syria to Gaziantep in Turkey in 2013. Although faced with challenges, Mohamad continued to pursue his studies intending to follow the footsteps of his father and grandfather in the field of mechanical engineering.
“When the civil war started, I had to leave my country and studies behind”, says Mohamad, a mechanical engineer who moved from Syria to Gaziantep in Turkey in the early days of the conflict. Despite challenges, Mohamad did not give up on his dreams to become a mechanical engineer, just like his father and grandfather. “I needed to enroll at an engineering programme and finish my studies first,” Mohamad says. A scholarship from SPARK helped him through his education journey.
His ambitions to implement his engineering ideas steered him to look for entrepreneurship programmes. He submitted a business proposal to SPARK’s entrepreneurship programme under the European Union’s Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis, Madad Fund, in the final year of his studies. Mohamad received a grant and could start his business ‘KED Prototyping’, a business that prototypes and designs machinery products at the same time. He has shown remarkable results; in the space of four months he already received five clients, which has now tripled. Many of his clients are large companies who he designs manufacturing machinery for. The growth of his business reflects his current success and development in his career.
Alongside his business, Mohamad is working as an engineer in a factory where he designs machines. To use and share his skills with others, Mohamad also supports young Syrian entrepreneurs who need prototypes and designs for their startups. Since Mohamad understands the financial challenges of those who emigrate, as well as the difficulties faced by the COVID-19 pandemic, he only charges for the raw materials and provides prototyping and designing services for free.
He offers these services to help small businesses grow, which he also does by helping at an oven factory daily to manufacture their machinery parts. Mohamad does not even charge for his day-to-day travel expenses to the factory, revealing his altruistic character. “All I want is to help others in their entrepreneurship journey”, he adds.
The entrepreneurship programme supported him during the COVID-19 pandemic through mentoring, coaching, as well as knowledge and skills training. Mohamad is still struggling due to the economic turmoil in Turkey, affected by both the hyperinflation and the continuing depreciation of the Turkish Lira due to regional instabilities. The effects of the depreciation of the Lira are represented in the tripled value of raw materials in USD.
“I want to give something in return to Turkey”
Despite Mohamad’s challenges, he feels very fortunate for acquiring the opportunities in furthering his career in mechanical engineering in Turkey. He wants to “give something in return to Turkey”, and would like to make an investment in the country. And yet, he is doubtful about the future, since Turkey is going through a socio-economic turmoil making the situation even more complicated for Syrian refugees in the country.
Mohamad Youssef Kinat is a successful and driven professional who is following the path his grandfather and father have moulded for him in mechanical engineering. He is the prime example of giving back to the community through volunteering and helping others in need regardless of the many challenges he has faced.