Glasgow Refugee Asylum and Migration Network (GRAMNet)

Bringing together researchers, practitioners and policy makers working with migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in Scotland

Please don’t surrender


Five years ago, I was sinking in the hopelessness swamp in Syria, but today I am writing this post as a person with two master degrees preparing for my third one. I am writing it as a part of a global network of 46,000 Chevening alumni spread all over the world working together to solve the world problems. And in the future, I will write here again but at that time as a social entrepreneur who develops others to achieve their goals and dreams. All of that not because I was lucky, but because I refused to SURRENDER! And I urge everyone not to surrender.

As a person who lived in a war zone, suffered from all kind of bad things that accompanied the war, and saw his dreams and goals fading away in front of his eyes, I lost hope. I lost my motivation and persistence. People lose hope when they reach a moment where they believe they are unable to change their reality and influence the factors surrounding them. Well, this misconception is the most dangerous enemy to any person’s progress!!. In this life, we all face situations where we think it is the end of this world; situations where we believe we cannot handle it anymore, and we decide to surrender. But by doing so we are just killing the most important factor in our life: the HOPE!.

During my battle to fighting hopelessness and achieving my goals, I learnt five lessons that could help anyone to do so and which I always like to share. For me, achieving a goal is like climbing a mountain which is a metaphor I use to describe the process of achieving our goals. Here is what I learnt:

Know what triggers your inner power. Hopelessness is something inside you; it is caused by external factors but it comes from inside and the solution comes from inside. Everyone should have something that triggers their inner power to move out of the hopelessness zone. This thing could be your kid, wife, goals or dreams, and if you don’t have any of these things, then do it for yourself; do it for the sake of not living with this painful and shameful feeling.


Know which mountain you want to climb and understand the needed equipment to climb it. In other words, please know what your goal is and its requirements. It might sound as a cliché “Know what your goal is”, isn’t it? Then why a lot of people do not know what their goal is. Not having a very clear goal is like sailing without a destination. Do you want to sail without a destination? I don’t think so!

If you don’t have the equipment to climb your mountain, that does not mean it does not exist. Each goal has requirements that we should follow to achieve it. We always tend to believe that the requirements are unavailable, but believe me they are out there somewhere and you just needed to work very hard to get them.

Know what keeps you climbing. Achieving your goal might be a daunting task that might take you years; it depends on what your goal is and what you already have to achieve it. And you need to have a strong motivation to put this continues effort over a long period of time. Everyone should have something that motivates them. Please discover it, you will really need it to continue climbing!

Finally, No matter what circumstances you are facing, it is up to you to overcome the difficulties and stand on your feet after each failure. Failure is a normal part of the journey. Do not blame the world when you fail; when you do so you are just giving yourself a very good reason to quit your gaols. Failure should be like a short break in the journey where you take a breath and analyse what could be done better.

Five years of working hard and following these lessons, I managed to achieve my goal and overcome all difficulties that I faced. And I always wanted to share my experience with others on a bigger scale so that I help the largest possible number of people. Thus, I decided to participate in TEDx University of Glasgow to transfer my experience and regenerate the hope inside those who have lost it, and this was literally a life changing experience in all of its aspects. During the preparation, I reviewed the most critical stage that I had in life and how I managed it; I discovered myself more. Presenting in front of big audience and cameras was a big challenge and it pushed my boundaries to an unprecedented level. The real reward was after the talk; receiving hundreds of messages from people all over the world expressing how this talk has helped them to fight hopelessness and continue their purpose made me feel proud. For me, this was the real success; making a positive impact on people’s live.



OUDAI TOZANDevelopment and Community Intrepreneur.






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This entry was posted on July 5, 2017 by in Comment.
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