People of Sora

Maryna Rakovska

Mohannad Saeed

Jun 14, 2022

Headshots of Maryna and Mohannad

Background

Our team members span continents, facing vastly different challenges. Sora Union provides stability in the face of uncertainty due to conflict and climate change. Uprooted from their home for a short period or permanently, we wanted to highlight some of our teammates' stories.

Maryna, Brand Designer
- Kyiv, Ukraine

Today, I work in Kyiv as a brand designer for Sora Union.

I still think about the very first air raid sirens I ever heard. They left me frozen, unable to say a word. Then, I heard the explosions. I could feel them so close. My family and I attempted to relocate to a safer place, which even involved sleeping in a forest overnight as we moved West. After the first weeks of the war in Ukraine, my employer couldn’t afford to pay our salaries or keep the office open anymore.

I couldn’t believe I found this job as a designer amidst the war. I can’t even express the happiness I felt after joining the Sora Union team. Working is a kind of meditation for me. It seems like I’ve regained some normalcy and part of my life back. I’m now able to financially support my parents in an eastern region called Zaporizhzhia. I feel the support of all the team members and it reminds me that we are not alone in this world and there are a lot of people in different countries who care about Ukraine and Ukrainians.

My family’s new reality is an emergency suitcase with all our necessary items, a curfew, air raid alerts and shelters. It’s also keeping my creative career progressing and working on projects with colleagues.

Mohannad, Localization Specialist - Alexandria, Egypt

I live in Alexandria and I’m a localization specialist at Sora Union.

Alexandria is one of the oldest cities in the world, a beautiful city established by Alexander the Great and located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea. Due to its geography, the primary economic activities in the city were maritime industries and tourism. But recently this has changed, tourism has tapered off, fisheries collapsed and investment has moved out of the city. This has made it very hard for Alexandrian residents to find opportunities for employment.

Much of this hardship is due to the impact of climate change and the rising sea levels. Each winter the city is pummeled with rain and inundated with sea water, resulting in significant damage. This is on top of incredibly hot summers. For all these reasons, and the current economic situation in Egypt, life became difficult, and I was looking for an opportunity to provide for my family.

In being hired as a localization specialist at Sora Union, I’m able to use my skill set and continue on my chosen career path in translation. I feel supported by my teammates and a deep level of compassion from the broader company.

We believe that people have value no matter their location. Whether our cities are struggling from climate change impacts, like Mohannad in Alexandria, or conflict is making us redefine our livelihoods like Maryna in Kyiv. We’re stronger collaborators for these experiences.

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