Syrian women speak: Nadia’s Story

Syrian women speak: Nadia’s Story

2/15/17

Dispersed by war, Nadia is a 33-year-old married woman in Syria

“I want to help my children be the person I hoped to be when I was little.”

Although I studied from grade one through grade six, when I left school, my reading and writing level was mediocre. Both my parents were illiterate, so there was no one to support my education. At the age of 22, I got married, only to discover the many deficits I had – especially when I had my children. I found myself unable to teach them. There was a lot I did not know. Now I have four children, two boys and two girls. I have devoted my life to raising them, since I did not have a degree and couldn't work. I have always asked God to give me a chance to pursue my studies again. In particular, at the beginning of the war when I had plenty of time and I was unable to help my husband with the house expenses.

My only hope is to study, and I hope also that my children won't be deprived of education. This is why I seek education. I want to help my children be the person I hoped to be when I was little. Besides education, I have an interest in sewing. I would like to do some sewing from home or as an employee, so I can benefit from it in the future.

When the war started, my interests didn't change, rather life and circumstances changed for the worse. However, this change also helped strengthen my will to stand in the face of hardships. My husband stopped working, so we started selling the golden jewellery I owned. And then, when I had no more gold, I sold household items to cover our basic needs. Until now, I have mainly relied on my husband, then relief centres, and on God first and foremost.

My life changed completely when I was displaced. I couldn't bring along all the belongings we needed. I received aid from local families, but it was very difficult. We lived in a small house, and we did not have furniture or other household items; the only things we managed to obtain were pillows and blankets. We felt humiliated. Life was difficult; we had to live with strangers and share their lifestyle.

After graduating from the women’s centre, I hope I will be able to read and write. I also hope to pursue my studies for the sake of my children.

I want a better life for my family. I want us to find again the security that we lost at the beginning of the war. I would like also for my husband to return to his job, and for my children to return to their studies, and for me to keep on taking care of them. But what matters most is to have the sense of security every time they leave the house.

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