Youth from war-torn Syria gets scholarship in KIIT Bhubaneswar, finds goal in Khelo India

Bhubaneswar: Twenty-two-year-old Ahmed Habbab, who arrived in India from war-torn Syria to study here on a scholarship, has found a new goal in Khelo India. 

Ahmed, a first-year Bachelor of Technology degree student at the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT), has got football skills and he is gearing up for his first moment in the spotlight representing his college at the Khelo India university Games. 

Ahmed began his journey from Syria seven years ago, to nurture his dream to play for his country. He says he hopes to shine like a star in the university game and attracts a few scouts from the Indian Super League. 

In 2011 the unrest in Syria began when rebels sought to overthrow President Bashar Al-Assad. While many died in the crossfire, thousands of civilians have fled the country to save themselves. 

"l feel good here. I wish someone will recognize my potential and help me with my dream, If such tournaments would have happened in Syria, it would be great for youth like me. 

Khelo India is a great initiative. In Khelo India, we get to compete with the best one," Ahmed said. He also expressed his desire to go back to Syria and play for his country. 

"In Syria, we have football players. But there is no opportunity I wish, one day I get a chance to go back and play for my country," he said. 

Habbab's eyes seemed to reflect fear as he recalled the dreadful times when he was stuck inside with his family in his house Aleppo and remained without food and water for over a week. 

Khelo India University Games has provided wings to students like Habbab to pursue their dreams. 

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