“This is Not a Political Crisis, but a Human One”
Hello, I’m Maher Kayali.
I’m responsible for the Western Union (WU) North America Diaspora markets, based in Denver.
I was born in Damascus, Syria, and migrated to the United States at an early age. Damascus is the capital of Syria, also known as the oldest city in the world. It also means home to me. It’s where I grew up and played football (soccer) on the streets. It’s one of the most vibrant, social and culturally rich cities I have ever visited. People are often out until four in the morning every day socializing, drinking tea, or having a quick bite from a local street vendor. It was also one of the safest places in the world because of its community-based culture.
I was last there in 2009, and had a wonderful visit. The thought that the city’s vibrancy has been diminished since then due to the conflict makes me uneasy.
I think of the people I’ve known and met there: My dear cousins, the local shop owners, the taxi drivers, the friend who lived next door. I sometimes wonder if they are among the millions of people who the world now refers to as refugees.
Some, who I know personally, made the journey to Germany and Austria. Others migrated to the U.S., Canada and Dubai. These are people who are just like you and me, had to pick up and move their family to a place where they might not speak the language and have no job. Imagine that for a moment.
These wonderful people want to rebuild their lives and to help make the world a better place. From the entrepreneur who will build a business to help local communities and create jobs, to the engineers and doctors who will contribute to a new society with their special skills. They deserve respect and dignity.
That’s why WU’s support of refugees is so important to me and I’m thankful for it. WU knows this is not a political crisis but a human one. WU understands that refugees are real people like you and me. It believes that refugees are part of our future. WU wants to empower them with financial inclusion, education and a sense of belonging.
To learn more about our efforts to help, please visit the Western Union Foundation page. The Western Union Foundation is an independently managed 501(c)(3), Colorado non-profit corporation. Learn more about the Western Union Foundation: foundation.westernunion.com