Syrian Refugee Creates Crypto E-Learning Platform to Help Middle East

Syrian Refugee Creates Crypto E-Learning Platform to Help Middle East

Karam Alhamad, a student of Yale Jackson School of Global Affairs, discovered the power of crypto and blockchain technology only after a year-long imprisonment in Syria, his home soil. After the uprising broke out in 2011, Mr. Alhamad was apprehended by Syrian authorities 4 times.

Money Transfers Are a Hassle in Syria & Iraq

The underground dungeon where he was detained for over a year didn’t break Karam Alhamad. In contrast, Alhamad said the uprising brought “a new purpose” to his life. After he got out of prison, Karam Alhamad started learning about blockchain technology. It was as relevant as can be in his situation, as the war-torn country had massive infrastructure problems and it was simply “hard to send money” anywhere.

“Back then we were trying to find other ways that we can receive money from donors,” adds Mr. Alhamad. A year later, he and his brother had to flee to Turkey and even opened a website about the journey, touching a lot of people’s hearts, but most importantly, granting young Syrians a chance at free education through the Zendetta Grant.

ZeFi Reaching Out to the Unbanked & Uneducated

It’s easy to picture why a young Syrian wouldn’t trust the government. Persecuted by his own, later Alhamad was refused by the United States. At that time, the powerful country was led by Donald Trump, who imposed a so-called “Muslim Ban,” taking away opportunities from young people trying to build their life in the US.

ZeFi Foundation is a non-governmental organization founded in 2020. However, it was fully operating from early 2022. ZeFi has already launched a variety of products, including a crypto savings account, a learning hub, a freelance work platform called ZeTalent, and more. “We mint minds,” reads the hub’s homepage.

Despite having a trading and lending platform, founder and CEO Karam Alhamad does not emphasize it much, as the crypto trading laws are still very vague. Instead, the founder says, ZeFi foundation is focused on blockchain adoption in social areas.

For instance, the prolonged civil war in Syria made the young man think of ways to record proof of cruelties that the corrupted government puts the country’s people through every single day: “If you’re recording human rights atrocities of the regime, or even in opposition areas, you don’t want to use Google docs and suddenly have everything lost.”

Cutting Out the Middle Man Makes a Huge Difference

ZeFi Foundation takes care of food distribution in problematic areas in Syria. Furthermore, ZeFi plans to use NFTs to keep track of refugee qualifications when they’re looking for a job. As blockchain technology cannot be erased, ZeFi is utilizing it as a “trust machine,” similarly to what Sango Foundation is attempting to do in the Central African Republic.

Relying on Blockchain Tech for a Bright Future

After all, blockchain technology might not be favored by all of the world’s leaders, but the aid that it can provide is undeniable. For instance, El Salvador has become the first country in the world to adopt Bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender. Even though the country is still impoverished, Nayib Bukele managed to lower the violent crime rate so drastically that El Salvador is not even in the top 10 by murder rate, partly because of the different approach to information that blockchain tech brings.

Storing information in a way that cannot be erased might be beneficial for pharmacy, food information, crime records, and so on. Central African Republic is betting big on Bitcoin to digitize and tokenize all of CAR’s assets, making the country as inviting as possible for investors and crypto enthusiasts. Bold move or not, President Faustin Archange-Touadera is looking to bring his civil war-torn country to the forefront of innovation.

Furthermore, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine initiated a couple of major blockchain-based donation events. For example, Zelensky’s words materialized into over $2.2 million of help for the troubled country, as all of Ukraine’s squares were turned into NFTs and sold out, the profits donated to provide relief for the European country that’s still trying to show the door to an extremely violent neighbor.

“Bringing you only the good side of Crypto,” the ZeFi homepage reads. Indeed, disruptive inventions like blockchain don’t come without risk, but many are willing to take it in hopes of a brighter future with less corruption and more equality and freedom for all to be what they want to be.

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