How hospitality gave Syrian refugee Ismaeil Dawod a new lease on life

by | Apr 20, 2019 | General News

Ismaeil Dawod stands in front of the Hilton Frankfurt

Having lost everything and determined to make a fresh start, Ismaeil Dawod came to Germany as a refugee. Today, he’s a rising star at the Hilton Frankfurt. This is his inspiring story.

When Ismaeil speaks about the war in his home country Syria, his voice shakes. Memories of the first bombing he experienced are still fresh. Like over 5 million other Syrian refugees, he wanted to take his fate into his own hands and made a decision to leave his family, friends and home in hope of a better future. He only said goodbye to his mother.

“He came to Hilton not as a refugee but as a human”

Having reached Germany, he was determined to build a new life for himself. Ismaeil worked hard to learn German and earned a role in the apprenticeship program at Hilton Frankfurt.

He came to Germany as a refugee, but he didn’t come as a refugee to Hilton — he came as a human being, says friend and mentor Marc Snijders.

The Hilton apprenticeship program gives participants the opportunity to go from department to department and learn the tricks and trades necessary to work in these jobs.

Ismaeil quickly became a valued part of the team at Hilton Frankfurt and started working after a few months. Snijders recalled how his nature of always putting others first, his unwavering strength and his team spirit made him a favourite of every member of staff at the hotel.

Further opportunity to excel

To help build on Ismaeil’s already amazing achievements, Snijders is now ready to surprise Ismaeil with an opportunity that may just change his life again.

He will be given the opportunity to attend Hotelschool The Hague, which is ranked in the top 10 best hospitality universities globally, where he can continue to pursue his dreams.

Ismaeil’s story will not be an exception as Hilton is committed to supporting 16,000 refugees in the next 10 years.

Watch Ismaeil’s inspiring story, as part of Hiltons “Room 702” series here:


Let’s take a look at a few other projects currently underway by Hilton:


Hilton Lagos Airport Hotel


Hilton Riyadh Hotel & Residences


Hilton Hainan Boating Resort


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