Mahmoud is from Damascus in Syria. Having fled to Greece, he found himself stuck in Softex refugee camp, on the edge of the country’s second city, Thessaloniki.
Based in and around the warehouse of an old Softex toilet roll factory, the camp was notorious for its crime and deprivation. It was here that Mahmoud refused to resign himself to a long, frustrating wait for an unknown future. Instead, he has decided to volunteer with our partner InterVolve, working to improve living conditions for the camp’s residents.
Mahmoud joined InterVolve’s team of volunteer carpenters. He had no previous experience, but was soon producing a wide range of furniture and items for the camp.
Using the skills he’s taught himself, Mahmoud now creates innovative, upcycled furniture and homeware, and custom gifts that tell a story. Mahmoud says that he aims use these creations to “send a message of love to all people”.
Watch the video below to find out more, and order your own unique products from Mahmoud’s website Giftstoria.