“We used to live in the light, now we live in the dark,” Muna age 35 owner of small shop in Za’atri said to the ARDD-Voice Team Today.
The Voice Project Team for ARDD took yet another trip to Za’atri Camp, a camp of an estimated 90,000 people in an immense desert space, to visit the beloved Syrians and listen to them as they spoke with courage. It is not an easy site to see or easy stories to listen to but behind the struggles and the pain and the longing for their own homeland and safety of family members there is a bright side, Strength. We spoke to many women and were encouraged to see the women taking the lead in determining a better life for themselves. Women were starting their own shops and told stories about how independent they have become.
One woman who took a debt upon herself of 50,000 Syrian Liras spoke that while the living situation is extremely difficult she felt that she had to do something to help her husband and children. For 12-14 hours a day she stands behind her mini-shop built in the tent and says she has become the head of the household. She shed tears speaking about her struggle but immediately wiped them away and spoke of courage. She is one amongst many courageous women.
This is only one simple story but similar stories are reflected in the woman that started her own falafel shop or the woman who sold popcorn from her tent or even the brave women that stay home and make use out of every bit of material to provide for the family.
The camp is filled with outstanding, courageous, and amazing women and each individual success is allowing for others to take a stand and work together in the lead of the women.