Former Syrian Refugee, Now Engineer Student Creates Her First Invention at 21

By Muhammed Aladdin

Three years ago, Shoushi Bakarian was part of a Syrian, four-member refugee family living in a tent in Lebanon. After the destruction of their home in Syria, the family escaped; their future was bleak and uncertain, but they had hope that they would make it to Canada, and from there, they would have their new beginning.

Fast forward 36 months later, the young woman is in her third year of Aerospace Engineering at Montreal’s Concordia University, learning her fourth language, French; as well as English, Arabic, and Armenian. That in addition to working two part-time jobs with a promising prospect of her career. One of the two jobs is in the parts department of Bombardier Aerospace and the other is at Stratos Aviation, a small flight simulation firm. There, she created her first ever invention in the lab that she’s building. Did we mention she’s 21?

er inspiring story does not end here; she is also the leader of a scout troop, hoping to influence young children.

Bakarian’s invention is called “The Ventus”, a tiny generator for Cessna airplanes that runs off the aircraft’s air vents and its added bonus is that it cools the air inside the craft by compression. The invention is a must-have for pilots who, more than often, rely on smartphones and tablets for aviation computation but fly airplanes that were built before the smartphone era. The Ventus is bridging the gap between the past and the future, increasing the estimated age of such airplanes. The young Syrian spent her summer at the company designing, drawing, and testing until it finally worked.

“I guess she must sleep very little,” Mr. Naor Cohen, the owner of Stratos Aviation said to The Globe and Mail. “We’ve never seen her as an employee, and more as a partner in the team. She’s free to come whenever stuff needs to be done. Right now, she’s concentrating mainly on the lab. We want to put that imagination and creativity to work more,” he added.

Shoushi Bakarian remembers with little details the circumstances accompanying her family’s arrival to Canada. In the early days of winter, the entire family applied for French classes while all four of them looked for work. She got hired at a McDonald’s, a job she kept until she applied to Concordia and was integral for her family’s survival. She is grateful for the sacrifices her parents made, and she too has made sacrifices of her own.

“I was physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted,” she says. “But now I’m making up for it. My family is okay now, and it’s easier.

WE SAID THIS: No matter how hard life is, you can always make it!

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