Nobody defines change better than Marc Hallac, an established project manager of A2Z Furniture. Our relationship with Marc dates to 2012 when we met during our ongoing furniture installation and logistical projects in Abu Dhabi. His escape from war-torn Syria to establishing himself in the UAE with unshakeable persistence is a worthy read. One is sure to derive motivation that ‘Change is the only constant in life and one needs to move forward with times. In this excerpt, Marc shares recollections of his heart-rending journey and drawings of life from Syria to UAE.

Childhood in Syria

Life was picture-perfect for Marc in Syria. Growing up in an adoring family, and surrounded with empathetic friends Marc gets nostalgic while recollecting joyous memories of his childhood. A graduate in Applied Chemistry, he went on to pursue his Master’s in Business Administration from a French University and began his career as an analyst in a reputed pharmaceutical factory in Syria, whilst also running his own chemical business.

All the rosy life turned topsy-turvy when Syria descended into a state of terror. An uprising manifested into a protracted war killing thousands and displacing half of the population into camps across the region. With buildings burnt down and ensuing clashes claiming lives, the bloodshed around was too horrid a scene for Marc to witness at a young age. Living amidst violent demonstrations by paramilitary forces for 2 years from 2010-2012, the situation turned into a full-blown territorial war. Trapped and left with no other choice Marc shut down his chemical business and fled from Syria leaving behind his beloved family and friends.

Moving to UAE

Landing in UAE soil in 2012, Marc was ambiguous about his future and trying hard to live normally despite knowing his family is still witnessing daily horrors. However, over time he managed to land on a job as a project coordinator in A2Z Furniture, a local representative of European Furniture Brands. While most may be taken by surprise with his jump from pharmaceutical to furniture, he got the needed thrust from his project management experience in a furniture company during his MBA days.

A newbie in the city, Marc turmoiled day and night taking challenges head on in the job. With stringent timelines and deadlines, he was juggling several projects and installation supervisions with careful communication and heaps of coordinated work. From visiting project sites spanning across 10-20 storeyed buildings to high rise towers, managing clients’ requirements and his team was a daunting task. Multi-tasking is in one word that summed up his new role. ‘Plan your work and work your plan’ was his work mantra even if that meant dedicating extra hours.

Family Life

A fitness and sporting aficionado, Marc was a regular gym visitor. In one of those visits in 2016, he bumped into his lady love by coincidence. Introduced by a common friend, conversations soon turned into laughter and into date nights. In a traditional Christian wedding ceremony in 2018, Marc turned into a family man giving him a totally new perspective and meaning in his life. The couple was soon blessed with a son named Mathew. A doting parent and a hard-working professional defined his new role. Despite his hectic work schedules, he commits quality time to his family.

He asserts “The same dedication I give to work, I must now lend to my family. I try to finish work on time so that I can spend time with my family and late evenings I spend 30 minutes each day planning tasks for the next day. Every month I also work on a weekend to ensure everything is smooth.”

Turning back time

Transitioning his life from a conflict-torn country to a peaceful nation like UAE, Marc says he has no regrets till date. By God’s will, his family survived the ordeal through the war-stricken years. He ascertains “All the experiences, even the unpleasant ones taught me life’s hardest lessons. They not only transformed but also strengthened me to take all that life throws in my stride and move up the learning curve.”

With the Emirates multi-cultural tolerance virtue standing high, Marc is all praise to the country that helped him settle into the community with grace and ease and gain much-needed peace of mind after all the turmoil he underwent in his homeland. With his residence situated in the picturesque Saadiyat Islands in Abu Dhabi; Marc is relishing his life in the wonderful city of Abu Dhabi.

When asked about returning to Syria, Marc affirms not so soon as the environment lacks stability. All that he yearns for is to continue his life in the all-welcoming Emirates, an embodiment of peace and harmony, where all cultures and nationalities coexist in harmony.

Marc’s positivity and resolve infuses the remarkable story of a determined man committed to make a better life for himself against all odds. If there’s one message he has for today’s youth is that the best way to face life’s challenges is head on. He states “One must be prepared for any situation in life. A can-do attitude in the face of adversity can help you sail through troubled waters. And when you’re prepared to face anything even if life throws lemons, you can make lemonades.”

Reminiscing his association with E-Movers, he says “I enjoy a 10-year glorious association with the E-Movers teams who have been assigned the logistics work of distributing, offloading and installing furniture. Proficiency in their job and adherence to timelines, they are truly professionals on the job. Moving, unloading, setting up furniture to perfection is their forte.”

Disclaimer: The stories are a work of fiction based on facts. Identies and details may have been altered to suit the narrative.