From Where I Stand: “I have the right to write my own future”

Farah Al Rahiyel, 23, from Daraa, Syria, found herself overcoming hurdles of war and displacement in the pursuit to complete her education. Today, she is standing up for her right to education through the support and inspiration she took from the sessions on legal awareness and women’s rights organized by the Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development (ARDD) in partnership with UN Women, and with the generous support of the European Union Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian crisis (Madad) and the Governments of France and Japan.

Date: Thursday, January 30, 2020

Farah Al Rahiyel, 23, was inspired to chase her dream to finish her studies through the legal awareness sessions led by UN Women and ARDD. Photo: ARDD

“Knowledge is not a desirable quality in a girl, a woman’s place should be in the home: That’s what many of my family members used to say to me, but I loved nothing more than delving deep within the pages of a book and writing fiction stories.

Overcoming my family’s views was a small feat compared to my next challenge. In 2012, I fled the war in Syria with my family and we found ourselves in the Za’atari refugee camp, in Jordan. Leaving behind our lives, memories and my favorite books.

Pursuing my studies was what kept me going, I developed the courage to convince my family and raise their awareness on the importance of completing my education, becoming financially independent and building my own future.

My passion was reinforced when I attended the legal awareness sessions on the importance of women’s rights, specifically that of a woman’s right to education. I immediately became an advocate for my own and other women’s right to education!

It felt like a miracle when I was finally accepted to study Life Sciences, at Al -Bayt University, in Mafraq. Taking my future into my own hands, I have started three jobs and saved for my university fees for the first year. I successfully completed the first year in my course and excelled in my grades.

However, after a year, my family and I could no longer afford my tuition fees. After overcoming so many challenges I will not let this one stop me! I have postponed this course, in the hope of finding new income generating opportunities, in order to proceed with my studies.

I am determined, strong and I will continue striving for my education and rights. I have the right to write my own future.”

SDG 5: Gender equality
SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth

Despite the obstacles, Farah Al Rahiyel, (23), continues in her pursuit to finish her studies and become an inspiration to other women chasing their dreams. Through the support she received from the legal awareness and women’s rights sessions, Farah has become her own champion in her right to education, With the generous support of the European Union Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian crisis (Madad), ARDD and UN Women are raising awareness and mobilizing Syrian refugee and Jordanian women on access to justice and women’s rights. Al Rahiyel’s path to empowerment reflects Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 on gender equality and women’s empowerment, as well as SDG 8, which aims for full and productive employment and decent work for all.