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El Menahil Promise | 4:36

El Menahil Promise: Mohamad Malaz’s Story

December 15, 2020



On the outside, Mohamad Malaz is a jolly man. These days, he stays active by riding his bike through the streets of Istanbul, Turkey. But, that’s mostly because he can’t afford something better.

In 2015, this proud shop owner was forced to flee his hometown in Syria because of the grueling Civil War. Arriving in Turkey as an older man, he tells us about the reality of restarting for people like him: “since I came here, no one’s accepted me. They see me as a 60-year-old person. They make me work for two days and then fire me.”

But, there’s more. Before arriving in Turkey, he had never learned how to read. That’s where El Menahil International School comes in. With their adult education classes, the school has been able to provide services that alleviate the challenges faced by older adults, including basic literacy.

Teacher Mohamad Hayek tells us that teaching adults has its own special characteristic. They have an urgent need to learn how to read and write… So you see them coming with this great energy and motivation. They’re seeking compensation for what they lost by being deprived of the blessing of literacy.”

Watch how this special program within El Menahil ensures that refugees of all ages get the chance to embrace a new lease on life after Civil War. And, learn how you can help at


Director: Hannah Whisenant
Director of Photography: Jonathan Van Lamsweerde
Editor: Hannah Whisenant
Re-Record Mixer: Michael LaFerla
Graphic Designer: Sheauling Soo
Motion Graphic Designer: Chuan Ching Ho
Music: "Fairy_Meeting" by Emily A. Sprague

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