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Updated: Sep 9, 2022

Migrant & Refugee Mom's Leading The Way

My name is Asma, a Syrian Refugee from Zaatari Camp, and a mother of four children. After the war in Syria, we refuged to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Of course we went through a very hard journey, and now we are refugees for almost 10 years. I want to sent a message to refugee women and mothers around the world, not only Syrians, to never give up in the face of challenges and bad circumstances because life will move on.Ten years have passed while we are living in tents and caravans in the refugees camp. Those ten years were spent out of our lifetime, therefore, I would like us to continue the journey and keep making change even if we were only women or refugees. My strong message to all women around the world is that we should be a part of this world and make a difference for women specifically and for the world in general. I want to tell you that I have a lot to share and I want everyone to know about it. I want to ask women to be strong and be able to sustain themselves and create a beautiful future for themselves. I would like to share with women that I am in the process of establishing an association to help all refugee girls and women around the world. I want to continue helping others wherever I go and I want to meet and talk to all the amazing women making a difference in their very own communities.

أنا أسما عمري ٢٩ سنة ام لأربعة أطفال تمارا ومايا ومحمد ومادلين أعيش في مخيم الزعتري في الاردن هربت من سوريا في عام ٢٠١٢ بسبب الحرب والدمار الذي حدث في وطني كنت اسكن في وطني في قرية جميلة اعيش في بيت زوجي بعد أن تزوجت في الخامس عشر من عمري انتقالي إلى المخيم كان نقطة تحول لي في حياتي بعد وصولي لمخيم الزعتري تلقيت تدريب نحن نحب القراءة مع الدكتورة رنا الدجاني تعلمت من خلال هذا التدريب كيف أكون حكواتية للاطفال وأصنع لهم مكان أمن في كرفاني استمريت لسنوات وبعدها عملت في روضة أطفال وحصلت على راتب شهري وكنت اكتب في مجلة الزعتري قصص للاطفال ومقالات توعية للاهالي والأطفال وبدأت اطور من نفسي تحسنت شخصيتي وأصبحت امرأة عاملة وأم وزوجة في نفس الوقت وعمري لم يتجاوز العشرين عاما صنعت نفسي وبنيت شخصيتي بعد أن كنت شخصية خجولة ومنعزلة أصبحت امرأة قوية صاحبة قرار ورأي وعربية للجيل القادم والآن أنا بعد مرور ١١ عاما على اللجوءفي المخيم في ظل كل التحديات والصعوبات التي تواجه المرأة في مجتمعنا أنا الأن الزوجة والأم والمعلمة والقائدة والمتطوعة وصاحبة مبادرة إقرأ وبطلة فيلم قصة الحي الي حصل على جائزة المرأة لعام ٢٠٢٢ هدفي يكمن في إنشاء جمعية نسوية تساعد النساء على اكمال تعليمهن وتلبية طموحاتهن وزرع حب الحياة في نفوسهن ومساعدة اللاجئات في كل أنحاء العالم

Now, I am 29 years old, a mother of four children, Tamara, Maya, Muhammad and Madeleine, I live in the Zaatari camp in Jordan. I fled Syria in 2012 because of the war and the destruction that occurred in my country. My move to the camp was a turning point for me in my life. After my arrival in Zaatari camp, I received training. We love reading with Dr. Rana Dajani. Through this training, I learned how to be a storyteller for children and create a safe place for them in a caravan. I continued for years and then worked in a kindergarten and got a monthly salary. In Zaatari magazine, there are stories for children and awareness articles for parents and children, and I started to develop myself. My personality improved and I became a working woman, mother and wife at the same time. I was only twenty years old. I created myself and built my character after I was a shy and isolated personality. 11 years have passed since asylum in the camp, in light of all the challenges and difficulties facing women in our society, I am now the wife, mother, teacher, leader, volunteer, owner of the Iqra initiative and the heroine of the film “The Neighborhood Storyteller” that won the Women’s Award For 2022. My goal is to establish a feminist association to help women complete their education, meet their aspirations, instill a love of life in them, and help refugee women all over the world.

I want you also to meet my partner of this important project, Patti Bartelstein, aka bella luca, Founder of The Project Room and creator of our BLOG-


Welcome, As-salamu alaikum, Bienvenido, Benvenuto, Witaj, Willkommen, Bienvenue, plus so many more for me to learn "Welcome" in all the languages around the world.

Asmaa and I are so excited to build with you this brilliant community of real "Superheros" of our times, one by one, we believe together we can move mountains and empower each other like you've never seen before. This project came to mind after I had the fortune of meeting Asmaa while I was working for HOMEStorytellers as the behind the scenes photographer for the upcoming film, The Neighborhood Storyteller.

I am a single MOM of four adult children and I am proud to say that after 29 years of passion and dedication, giving all I had, through thick and thin, I raised four children who are citizens of the world, community leaders, lovers of life, nature, curiosity, creativity, all things, people and places. I understand how fortunate I have been to not have had to leave home due to war and persecution. I am eternally grateful that I have had freedom and choices my whole life. I left home when the time was right, when I went off to college and when my children had their wings and were ready to fly on their own. I left out of the desire to see more, learn more, do more, give back more of what I have learned along the way to those who are in need. I am an artist, a visual storyteller, photo documentarian and educator. I have always been drawn to personal stories of triumph over tragedy and I find these stories to be the most important and inspirational life long lessons I can learn from. It is not just the stories that entrance me, it is the deep connections that I make along the way. Thanks to the gateway of the internet, I have been able to follow brilliant people and learn about their stories which has given me a life full of depth, character and wisdom that keeps me inspired and learning more day after day. I call this the power of connectivity and this has become my life practice, building bridges to enrich human in-depth interaction. I always wanted one day, when the time was right, to work in the refugee space and help support and share life altering monumental stories that should be heard more in our global community. This is how I came to work with HOMEStorytellers. One day I was listening to the founder of HOMEStorytellers tell his backstory on a podcast and I immediately ran to my computer to send a personal letter explaining my dedication and passion for storytelling and how I want to help support his work and mission of supporting refugees and the proven solutions that enable refugee self-reliance. Fast forward, this is how I ended up meeting Asmaa, by working with the HOME Storyteller's team on producing her story in her home at the Zaatari Refugee Camp. We both instantly felt a deep connection between us, regardless of our language barriers, we felt a real connection. Both of us found commonalities, as Mom's, we shared compassion, empathy and understanding for each other. We understood without needing to explain the desire to want our children to grow up with all things possible and be given the best foundation, no matter the odds against us. Fast forward, this is how the BLOG was founded. I have always believed, where there is a will, there is a way. And so, here we are today.

Asmaa and I want to hear from all of you incredible MOM's, the Superhero's of our times to share your stories of strength, leadership, resilience, wisdom and self-reliance. We believe together we can empower each other and build more bridges between us while making our mark on the world, making our global community one by one, a better, richer and deeply connected place for all of us to live in.

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