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Wednesday, October 4, 2023
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Ukrainian Works in UAE Firm Amid War, Takes 35-Hour Dubai Trips

Maria Shtonda‘s life shifted dramatically when she joined Dubai-based company Genieology. Operating from a conflict zone, the self-taught Ukrainian designer found a lifeline amid adversity.”As conflicts loomed, my family became paramount,” she recalled. “My boss agreed to remote work, allowing me to support them during critical times.”

Amid shelling threats, power outages, and transport challenges, Maria’s commute to Dubai took 35 grueling hours.

“Airports lay in ruins, airspace closed. A 18-hour train to Poland’s border, a 10-hour ride to Warsaw, then 5 hours flying to Dubai,” she recounted.

Maria’s UAE journey began as a waitress in 2016. Pursuing design, she balanced courses with admin work. Her persistence paid off with Genieology. “They took a chance, valuing my passion,” she said.

Returning home, conflict erupted. “I woke at 4 am on Feb 24, 2022, crisis underway,” she remembered. “Notifying my boss, my team in Dubai proved my pillars.

They offered shelter, a car – an unwavering support system.”

Escaping fighting, Maria’s family relocated to Poland. However, she stood by her fianc√©, an army member, enduring the harsh reality of war.

Her dream remains intact – a return to Dubai with family. “Apartment dreams persist,” she shared. “War reshaped priorities; adaptability prevails. This ordeal’s lessons shall guide my future.

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