In one of the remote towns of Idlib western countryside, a story of a center that started small in Al Janodeya town where Najlaa Nasef was born and raised before she moved to Aleppo to study law graduating at the first year of the Syrian upheaval. Nasef’s passion, however, was driven by her love to teach. She started by running at her household a school where the town’s children come to acquire basic knowledge and literacy.  

The development scale fluctuation that the 32 years-old community leader was attributed to the constant violence and military insurgency by the Assad-Russian coalition. However, while the school children were absent unable to come to study, Nasef had effortlessly worked to improve her working skills and personal capacity.

Limited means and big dreams

My bigger dream was participating in the change-making of my society. The change that I have always wanted to achieve has been through helping the young generation

Najlaa Nasef – 32 years old female community leader

Through the self-learning process, Nasef gained more experience about various subjects that capacitance her to do few organizations, however, her passion to support local youth and the absence of NGOs enterprises in social capacity enhancement, namely women have encouraged her to establish a small scale center.

The community leader believes that women are now more capable to carry out independent enterprises to be active citizens and enhance their societies, “the society nowadays enjoys more tolerance to support women-led initiatives. 

Aspired by its mission to spread knowledge among locals Nasef named the Al-Nawah center hoping that her effort alleviating women’s dependency on men and mobilizing marginalized groups in the society to be self-dependent through the center’s courses.

The community leader explains that the center provides computer skills, resumé preparations, interviewing skills courses aimed at equipping women with, even might sound basic, yet pivotal criterion women lack. “The provision of these courses would boost their abilities and employment likelihood. one the one hand”. 

Derived by the need to survive and earn a living due to the economic difficulties and poverty proliferation, Nasef undertook other courses such as hairdressing to support women with tools that could help them financially.

Jamila Al Kalthoum, one of the center’s trainees, amplified the need for the efforts and similar endeavors that the Al-Nawah’s center. She stressed that

There is a big scale of ignorance in the society, especially among women. I did not have the chance to learn or go to school

Jamila Al Kalthoum, one of the center’s trainees

The 25 years old beneficiary asserted that she and a large segment of the female were thrilled and engaged actively in the courses that the center is offering. “We want to come to the center always and take more courses, we want to learn new things,” she noted,

New initiative

Taking advantage of her legal background, Nasef began running basic law sessions for the town’s women which were held in collaboration with other NGOs. The session taught the participants who aged between 20-60 years old about women’s rights and broadly explained legal subjects that intersect with women’s roles.

While local women struggle from a clear absence of the understanding of law between women and especially the laws that entitle their rights, Nasef believes that the civil society has done very little supporting enterprises like hers, at least in her town.

Eliminating ignorance proliferation about these subjects is one of the top priorities of the center. Despite the resource’s limitation, Nasef vows that she will continue to work within her own capacity. “I will carry on until obliterating the illiteracy scale, amplify both women abilities, capacity and increase their awareness,” she said

Women are willing to learn, they just need the means that aid them to achieve their rights of self-empowerment, independent to engage positively in the social change movement

Najlaa Nasef – 32 years old female community leader

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