Syrian wrestling star opens sports academy for refugees in Egypt
Amir Awad is a wrestling champion from Syria. He won his first tournament at the age of 11 and was Syria's national wrestling champion 18 times.
Originally from Idlib, Amir fled the war in Syria in 2011 with his wife and two children. Fearing the dangerous sea crossing, Amir made his way to Egypt, where he worked as a chef in restaurants until he established the Sports Academy for refugees in Alexandria. Supported by UNHCR, the academy holds classes for over 20 Syrian refugees, including wrestling, kickboxing, taekwondo, karate and aerobics.
Amir says he established the academy to build a new generation of Syrian refugee athletes in Egypt dissuade others from risking the dangerous sea journey to Europe. He now aims to compete in world championships and train young Syrians in Egypt to become future champions.