PRI reports that with so many men killed or missing, it is up to the women in Syria to take charge and run their communities.
Despite the daily shellings, 25-year-old Zein refused to leave Aleppo. “I learned how to stitch wounds, how to remove shrapnel,” she commented via Skype. “We’ve taught ourselves the basics of triage very quickly, and there were times when we couldn’t walk because the floor was full of wounded people.” Several of Zein’s activists friends were recently killed but despite this, she soldiers on, leading an all-male team of aid workers who distribute food and medicine to families.
Maimona is an activist who heads a child welfare organization called Herras (Arabic for “Guardianship”) and says that the extreme needs of the community have had some surprisingly positive outcomes, namely in education. The need for women to work in hospitals and schools has driven many women to go back to school and get their high school diploma.
“Seeing them sitting in school chairs with that look in their eyes, as if to say they haven’t missed the train at all, that it is in their hands to change, to improve, to learn. It was very moving to witness that,” comments the activist. “And I tell them how proud I am of them.”