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From where I stand: ‘I believe everyone is a potential leader’.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Haifa Dammad knows the struggles of being the sole breadwinner of a family. Reflecting on her life between two crises, she discusses her engagement as community leader in the Za’atari refugee camp of Jordan, helping other women to gain news skills and access to information.   Haifa Dammad, 33, has found an incentive-based volunteer opportunity as tailor supervisor at the UN Women’s Oasis Centre in Za’atari refugee camp. Photo: UN Women/Marta Garbarino  ...

From where I stand: “I hope that no woman or girl will ever hesitate to learn a new skill because the experience could change their lives, the way it changed mine”

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Mayada Mohamed ElShalaby, 36-year-old is a Syrian refugee living in Cairo with her family. Mayada is a former Amigurumi trainee and one of the current Amigurumi artists and trainers at “Vandi”, which is a social enterprise that UN Women Egypt collaborates with to provide skills training and employment opportunities for refugee and Egyptian women. ElShalaby talks to us about her professional journey and her personal ambitions. ElShalaby (in the middle) inside Vandi’s...

From where I stand: “I am developing my mediation skills to encourage my daughter and her generation to engage in peacebuilding efforts”

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Amal Chehabi, a 59 -year- old Palestinian refugee woman living in Ein El Helweh camp in South Lebanon, heads the Palestinian nationalist social-democratic political party’s (Fatah) social department in Lebanon.

From where I stand: “I’ll never let my girl undergo FGM… I do not want her to witness the torture that I went through”

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Amal Ahmed* – a wife and mother of an 11-year-old girl and three boys aged 15, 18 and 19 – lives in Dar El-Salam in Cairo governorate. When she herself was 10 years old, Ahmed’s life was turned upside down, after she and her sister were tricked by their family into undergoing female genital mutilation (FGM) at the hands of a doctor at home.

From Where I Stand: “You must be your number one supporter.”

Friday, October 2, 2020

Nadia Al Obaydien, 45, struggled with severe health problems for six years and, as of this year, became a cancer survivor. Determined to set out on a new journey and eager to learn new skills, Al Obaydien enrolled as a poly-agriculture trainee in the Oasis center run by the Ministry of Social Development and UN Women in Tafilah with the support of the European Union...

From where I stand: “Even though we were distanced physically from each other, we came closer through love”

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Koura in the north of Lebanon, she has been working at the Social Services Medical Center for the elderly in Tripoli for 11 years. As part of her work, Layal provides nursing care for patients and manages employees at the Centre. The COVID-19 crisis has made her work more challenging than ever, and following the deadly Beirut port explosion, new COVID-19 infections are reaching record highs in the country. By the end of September, over 36,000 people have been infected and at least 347 have died from the virus.

From where I stand: “I will prove to everyone and to myself that I will not just handle the job; I will excel”

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Menna Ramadan, 18, is a third-year student at El-Wardian Industrial School for Girls in Alexandria and one of the 150 future electricians and 40 teachers who are benefiting from the Technical and Vocational Education and Training for Girls Initiative being implemented by the Institut Européen de Coopération et de Développement (IECD). UN Women supports the initiative under its joint programme with the International Labour Organization (ILO), entitled “Promoting Productive Employment and Decent Work for Women in Egypt, Jordan and Palestine” that is generously funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).

From where I stand: “Despite all the challenges, I am a firm believer in humanitarian work and its importance at this critical juncture of Libya’s history”

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Leila Ben Khalifeh and peer humanitarian workers visiting mass graves in Tarhuna, Libya, July 2019. Photo: Courtesy of Leila Ben Khalifeh “The situation in Libya is very complex. Conflict and displacement have been aggravated by electricity and water cuts and the COVID-19 pandemic. To help Libyan people in these difficult times, I have worked with volunteers and civil society actors to provide sterilization products and information on how to prevent the pandemic from spreading. I...

From where I stand: “It is a great feeling when you know that you can change your situation to the better and help your loved ones”

Monday, July 27, 2020

Hayah Mohamed is a 38-year-old Yemeni woman living in Cairo with her husband, their daughter and three sons. She had to stay in Cairo longer than expected and faced economic challenges after she stopped receiving remittances from Yemen due to the ongoing conflict. To support her family, Mohamed joined a sewing course at AlMashgel, a production unit supported by UN Women Egypt...

From where I stand: “The most important skill to learn is how to be at peace with yourself.”

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Etemad Al Sururi is a Yemeni refugee who came to Egypt a year ago after witnessing the horrors of the war in her home country. After settling down in Egypt with her sister-in law, Etemad and her husband struggled to find jobs, despite their studies and work experience. Therefore, she decided to take a different road and learn new skills. She enrolled in UN Women’s vocational training course in October 2019, where she learned bakery and cake decorating – a first step to her new life....

From Where I Stand: “To empower women, we must ensure they know how to access legal services.”

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Samaher, 35, a Syrian refugee woman living in the Za’atari camp, has made it her goal to raise awareness among other women about protection and legal services available in the camp. In the context of protracted displacement, the uncertainty on where to seek help in case of need is another important layer of complexity to violence for vulnerable women. Restrictions of movement due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak further aggravated refugees’ capacity to access legal services. UN Women and the Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development (ARDD) work to ensure that vulnerable women like Samaher have information and knowledge of how to access protection and legal services during the crisis and confinement. Today her outreach goes beyond the camp.

From where I Stand: “It is your right as a woman, as a refugee and as a human, to become empowered.”

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

After fleeing the war in Syria in 2015 to find safety in Jordan, Hadeel Dohs*had to face domestic violence within the four walls of her own home. Managing to escape into the night, she finally found peace and hope in Azraq refugee camp, where she is rebuilding her life through her new role as a childcare teacher and accessing protection services offered in the UN Women Oasis center.

From Where I stand: "From one crisis to another, we must learn to support each other."

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Ten years since the beginning of the conflict in Syria, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic brought new challenges for vulnerable Syrian refugee women and girls living in Jordan. Amid the second big crisis in her life, Bushra Alhariri had to find new strengths to cope with the situation and, as a community mobilizer, is now helping more than 150 women in the Za’atari refugee camp through the UN Women Oasis by sharing reliable information on COVID-19 and national preventive measures.

From where I stand: “My husband would not allow me to leave the house, now I’m financially independent”

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Ten years since the beginning of the conflict in Syria, refugee women continue to face multiple challenges during displacement. Home to 36,657 refugees, in the Azraq refugee camp 1 in 4 households are headed by women. Noor Ali Halam*, from Dara’a, is one of them and, since 2017 she is the sole provider for her six children. At the UN Women’s Oasis center, she was able to find her first job and the support network she needed to rebuild her life.

From where I stand: “It was an incredible feeling to be back again in the classroom.”

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The Za’atari refugee camp is home to 76,378 refugees, of which 19,243 are school-age children. To support parents and children to continue their education during the COVID-19 pandemic, UN Women increased the number of Syrian refugee teachers enrolled in the Oasis’ incentive-based volunteer programme. One of them is Nahid Ali Albuhair, 31, from Daraa Syria, whose passion for teaching roots back to her life before the conflict. This is her journey of resilience between two crises.

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

Thursday, January 30, 2020

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.

From where I stand: “A woman can and should be able to work”

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Deep within the rural community of Karak lies the town of Taibeh, where 39-year-old Mona Ahmed Alqkla, found a safe place for her family seven years ago after fleeing the conflict in Dara'a, Syria. She had never had the opportunity to work, until now. She recently joined the incentive-based volunteer programme as a tailor in the Oasis Centre in Taibeh, which was launched by the Ministry of Social Development in partnership with UN Women in March 2019.

From Where I Stand: “My biggest achievement is that I have changed myself and changed people.”

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Mohamed Magdy is a volunteer in Imbaba, Giza with UN Women’s Ending Violence Against Women (EVAW) programme, working to raise awareness of gender equality and women’s empowerment. Before joining the programme, Mohamed did not have constructive thoughts and beliefs about gender equality and women’s empowerment, but now he is working to change his community to become safer for and more inclusive of women and girls.

From where I stand: “Equality between men and women…is a moral imperative”

Friday, July 12, 2019

Taher Sellami, a young entrepreneur and business student, is striving to use innovative technologies to drive social change in Tunisia and worldwide.

From where I stand: “My dream is to open the first baby photography studio in Palestine”

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Doaa Eshtayeh, from Nablus, Palestine, found her talent and passion in photography and has made it her profession. Doaa is the main provider for her family, thanks to the support she received through a UN Women project that helped her develop her skills and buy the equipment she needed.

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