Business was booming for tech-startup Rootal 2 years ago, until a car bomb was set off just a few blocks awat from its Damascus headquarters. It’s been two years since Rootal was keyed in on the Syrian government hitlist, but the geolocation company is still going strong. How?
You can thank the United Kingdom’s Refugee policy.
Without his duel citizenship, Rootal founder Adnan Al-Khatib would likely be wasting away in a Syrian jail somewhere. Although lambasted over the last few years for suspected xenophobic policy, London has accepted thousands of refugees form Syria, including Adnan and his fledgling tech startup.
“I remember sitting there and reading that there was fighting up north, which seemed far away,” he recalls. “The next day it’s in Homms, which is closer. A few weeks later it’s moved into the suburbs of Damascus and I managed to convince myself that too was a long way away. Then a bomb blast goes off in my neighborhood and a car goes up, with firefights right in front of my home. You find yourself not caring, because the bullets aren’t coming in. You just become desensitized.”