We are three more or less young men: Tommy, Shiraz and Wanja. We are good friends for countless years and have experienced great times together. We started this project in January 2015. This is also when we have composed the following lines:
Wanja Greuel (born on 28.09.1977 / Citizenship: German and Swiss)
I was born in Bonn, Germany and grew up in Kaiserslautern. Since my mother is Swiss and my father German I have both citizenships. I have four siblings and by this date am a 14-times uncle. That means I grew up in a very lively and rapid environment. Having that many siblings might have a few disadvantages, but after all I think it is the best whatever could happen to me – I had the best childhood someone can imagine. After studying in Mannheim, Germany and one year in Athens, Greece, since 2005 I am now living in Switzerland – one of the most beautiful countries on this planet. I love sports – mainly doing it on my own but also of an enthusiastic fan of all events and athletes worldwide, especially soccer. Moreover I am working in the sports marketing industry, so my passion became profession. So, that’s me. Blessed by great people and lots of luck in my life. I have two idols: My mother and my father. Both taught me the most important things in life. Of my father I probably got most of my ambitions and persistence, while my social skills and respect for others are probably a little more based on my mother´s nature. So, that also leads to my main values in life: respect, tolerance, peace, friendship and passion – in whatever you do.
So the idea of the Charity Circle was born. I want to do something good for others. Although knowing that is just a little something we are going to do, I think it is worth to try to improve the life for others – even if it is just a few.
Shiraz Naeem (born on 17.07.1977 / Citizenship: German)
I was born in Gujranwala / Pakistan. When I was two years old me and my parents moved to Germany. I could grow up in a safe and nice environment with my family. The financial situation for my parents was not easy, because as immigrants with three children it is not so easy to build up very solid conditions. But this is also the point where I feel lots of respect for my parents, because there came three more children and my father developed from a usual worker in a factory to a successful businessman. My parents took care that all of the children could enjoy great education and became all self-responsible to make their way in life. All my life our situation improved from year to year and we all have a fantastic life. I am aware that my parents put lots of efforts in this; one of the results was that we could only see our parents in the evenings and were on our own for quite some time. But this was not a problem at all – we had to take over responsibility quite early in life and this was an important thing to learn in my opinion. After school I went to the army and then studied in Mannheim. Already at that time I was involved in the business I am doing today. The consequence was that I did not finish my studies. I knew already at this point that I want to pursue my way with my own company. Since 2003 I won and lead a company that deals with recycling the physical assets of industrial companies.
I love to travel and of course did so to Pakistan many times already. Every time I travel to the country of my birth I realise how lucky I was in life. If you see the conditions people living there it is almost impossible to set that into any relation to the life I had in Germany, always being safe and not lacking anything at all. Also my other travel experiences all over the world always remind me, how blessed we are to live in such conditions. I would like to share only a little part of my luck and want to help with our Charity Circle to improve life for some others, even if it is only a few.
Tommy Köhler (born on 01.12.1978 / Citizenship: German)
Hey, my name is Tommy. I was born 1978 in Mönchengladbach, a small City in the western part of Germany. I am the youngest of three. My parents raised me and my two older sisters in a very secure and protected environment. When we were young we had all we could possibly ask for. My family wasn’t rich at the time but we made a well living. When my father, who founded Cinque a well known fashion brand, led our family business to huge success during the late 90s, he made sure that our family would not have to worry about our financial independence anymore. Even though I grew up in this secure stability, I have to confess that my life wasn’t a very straight one in terms of figuring out what to do with it after all. I struggled a lot along the way until the point where I am today…. After graduating from high school I served my mandatory military service and then started higher education at the university in Bonn. Still being quite uncertain about where my live should lead me I soon realized university did not work for me much at that time in my life. Since my mom and dad had encouraged me and my siblings to travel from an early age so we would see the world and broaden our horizons traveling seemed to me a good way to explore life. During my further education I spent quite some time overseas traveling with friends and getting to know knew ones. My journeys took me to North and South America, Australia, Africa, Asia and pretty much all over Europe. Hard to believe that beside all that traveling and my despite for university I was still able to finish my education and became a helicopter pilot along the way.
Nowadays I’m running an aspiring fashion brand which is quite funny considering that I never wanted to continue the family tradition. But looking backwards I think traveling the world by myself and with my friends had a huge impact on understanding life and in deciding how I want to lead my own. It certainly shaped my picture of the world and how things work. I experienced a variety of other cultures and countries – most of them not even close to our standards. I learned that the values I strongly believe in and take for granted are not the reality for most men in the world. I think it is important to always remember that the majority of people is not quite as fortunate as we are. Not even close. I think everybody who is in that lucky position to live like we do has the obligation to give something back – also to those that might not be relatives or friends. It makes me happy that this project comes to life now after thinking about it for quite some time. It comes from the heart and I really hope we can do something valuable and improve some people’s life that is not as fortunate as ours. I am entirely grateful for life and the happiness I am surrounded with and if there are ways in how I can support others, financially or morally, I am more than willing to take them. So let’s get it on!
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