It has now been a few weeks since Amir and Adeena left their first place of a basement in Aksaray. However the same issues persist. Things have started to stabilise; both have a new job where they work six day. They are working in a clothes factory on the coast of Karadeniz(the black sea). Waking at 5:30a.m. for a 2hr. commute to work for another 12hrs.; they have little other than this life.
The factory owner knows fully well that refugees will take what they can and so pays them each 800TL per month(1.32USD per hour) - 500TL below legal minimum wage. Still, they diligently wake and shuffle off to work for some semblance of stability.
When we first talked about their situation, the trickiness of it became evident. Sadly, they do not speak Turkish, but have a clear understanding of English. Their education is limited and both are too young to have much professional experience. What they do have is bountiful: work ethic, reliability and optimism. So we have set about contacting friends to be clients to grow their cleaning business around Istanbul.
On sunday mornings they come to my apartment in the mid morning to work for their venture. We are proud to be the first clients of A Clean Start - their professional cleaning service. In my front room Amir gets to work sweeping and mopping. He moves the furniture around the broom and not the otherway round. Sometimes I see him stretching to dust a set of Taboo that my flatmate swears was a good investment. In the kitchen, Adeena has organised everything to the point that the spices are beautifully arranged - almost by colour. (Over breakfast they taught us a little of the depth of Pakistani flavours as they jokingly tease my Scottish cuisine).
I can very much vouch for this young couple. They cheerfully do the dirty work and do not need to be asked. In return, they ask for little other than an opportunity to show you their diligence.
On the walk to the metro we talked about their budget. They are so eager to rid themselves of the shackles of their fresh poverty(in Pakistan, Amir was an office clerk with a comfortable life before he was forced to flee). If you are in Istanbul and want to invest in a budding business, please message me. We are excited to grow.