After the uprising broke out in 2011, Mr. Alhamad was apprehended by Syrian authorities 4 times.
The underground dungeon where he was detained for over a year didn’t break Karam Alhamad. In contrast, Alhamad said the uprising brought “a new purpose” to his life. After he got out of prison, Karam Alhamad started learning about blockchain technology. It was as relevant as can be in his situation, as the war-torn country had massive infrastructure problems and it was simply “hard to send money” anywhere.
“Back then we were trying to find other ways that we can receive money from donors,” adds Mr. Alhamad. A year later, he and his brother had to flee to Turkey and even opened a website about the journey, touching a lot of people’s hearts, but most importantly, granting young Syrians a chance at free education through the Zendetta Grant.
It’s easy to picture why a young Syrian wouldn’t trust the government. Persecuted by his own, later Alhamad was refused by the United States. At that time, the powerful country was led by Donald Trump, who imposed a so-called “Muslim Ban,” taking away opportunities from young people trying to build their life in the US.
ZeFi Foundation is a non-governmental organization founded in 2020. However, it was fully operating from early 2022. ZeFi has already launched a variety of products, including a crypto savings account, a learning hub, a freelance work platform called ZeTalent, and more. “We mint minds,” reads the hub’s homepage.
Despite having a trading and lending platform, founder and CEO Karam Alhamad does not emphasize it much, as the crypto trading laws are still very vague. Instead, the founder says, ZeFi foundation is focused on blockchain adoption in social areas.
For instance, the prolonged civil war in Syria made the young man think of ways to record proof of cruelties that the corrupted government puts the country’s people through every single day: “If you’re recording human rights atrocities of the regime, or even in opposition areas, you don’t want to use Google docs and suddenly have everything lost.”