We are devastated that those amazing women, with their families in Eastern Ghouta have to face daily bombardment and struggle to defeat siege.
We chose five stories from hundreds, and we want to take the opportunity of International Women’s Day to dedicate this album painted by Dima Nachawi, to the inspirational women of Ghouta.
Um Samih, Faten 54, holds a BA in English Literature from the University of Damascus. She worked before the Syrian revolution in translation, the profession of her father who was born in Palestine.
Samih, her son, was arrested by the regime security forces a few months before he graduated from medical school.
Um Samih manages an organization called “One Hand”, مؤسسة يد واحدة where she cooks, monitors, purchases, distributes, and drives a Suzuki to help those in need.
It is very common for Um Samih to wander all over Eastern Ghouta in one day, to reach places where no one else knows, and in which there are people in need.
Even now when people are hiding in the basements and shelters, everyone in Ghouta knows that Um Samih will cook and move under danger to deliver food to them
“Ghouta is carried on the hands of women”
Maimouna, 30 years old, holds a BSc in Computer Engineering and Automation. Married and mother of two girls, “Imar and Alissar”, lives in Douma, Eastern Ghouta.
She cannot visit or see her parents because of the siege. Her father was arrested five times over the past years, and she is the eldest sister of two young men detained for five years in the prisons of the Assad regime.
She started her activism in Darya, where she lived until the end of 2011 and was one of the founding members of the Syrian Peaceful Movement.
Currently, she is the Regional Director of Syrian child protection network in the Southern Region, which is responsible for protecting and caring for children of Syria.
Mimouna and her colleagues in the child protection offices care about every single detail related to children’s wellbeing and psychological health. They draw hope for Syrian children and offer the hand that care for them in a world of violence and hatred.
Dr. Faten Rajab Fawaz, PhD in Physics and Atomic Science.
Dr. Rajab is considered one of the most prominent women activists in the Syrian revolution, especially in the countryside of Damascus. She has been active in peaceful demonstrations since they started in Douma, and has participated in great efforts in the field of relief.
She was arrested by the Assad security forces (Air Intelligence Branch) on 26/11/2011 for her peaceful activism, and spent 10 months before being transferred to the Military Security Branch in Damascus to spend another year there, where the worst humanitarian conditions are going on. She was subjected to severe torture according to eyewitnesses.
Today, she is still forcibly disappeared, where the Syrian intelligence forces refuse to declare Faten’s whereabouts and there is no information about her life or health.
Amani, from Douma, has two degrees from The Teachers Preparatory School and from the Institute of Vocational Economics. She has worked in various professions within the education sector as well as in the medical sector.
Currently, Amani is working in the accounting department of Local Development and Small-Project Support Office LDSPS in Douma.
Amani is known for her punctuality and seriousness at work. If you ask her colleagues about her, the first thing they respond with is: ” She is committed and serious!” The accounting department relies heavily on her. She is the guardian of the little details at work, and without her, the work flow is not as accurate.
At work, not only her accuracy is appreciated, but also her courage to defend her opinions and to insist on what she thinks is right. “She keeps arguing with me until she proves me wrong”, a colleague of hers says, confirming his faith in Amani and her ability to ensure that everything is working properly.
Anani has a beautiful, unmistakable smile, shy but confident and reassuring. A quiet smile radiates joy and happiness to everyone around her.
Amani is the friend of everyone. She is attentive to details, and always concerned to ensure that everyone around her is comfortable. “Her absence creates a void” say her friends. She is the beloved friend who makes the days different.
Mouna is a pharmacist and laboratory doctor. She is the scientific director of the Institute of Medical Technology, and the head of the pharmaceutical department at the Sham Institute of Medical Sciences- the only institute with a pharmaceutical department in Eastern #Ghouta. Mona is also a volunteer with فريق ملهم التطوعي Molham Volunteering Team.She personally believes in supporting the education of girls and increasing their interest in science.One of the most pleaseant things for her is to see an increase in the numbers of applicants for the baccalaureate. She feels these applicants aspire to a future beyond the siege and shelling.
At the time of the heavy bombardment last week, Mona was concerned that the microscopes in the Institute would be damaged and destroyed. Mona packed them in wheelbarrow and moved them elsewhere.
Yesterday, Mona lost her brother Abdel Rahman as a result of the bombing of the Syrian regime and the Russians. Everyone in Ghouta praises Abderrahmane for his kindness and good manners.