“Learning helps me hold on to life!”

1.Amira Dabit is a beneficiary of the SADA Women's Empowerment and Solidarity Center located in Gaziantep. Photo Credit: UN Women/Pınar Alkan Yarıkkaya
1. Amira Dabit is a beneficiary of the SADA Women’s Empowerment and Solidarity Center located in Gaziantep. Photo Credit: UN Women/Pınar Alkan Yarıkkaya

Having been forced to migrate from Syria to Turkey at the age of 80, the inspirational story of Amira Dabit will catch you from your heart while making you think on your personal journey, your goals in life and learning limits…

“Because of the war in Syria I moved from Aleppo to Gaziantep 5 years ago. While escaping from the bombs alone, I was feeling that I had left my childhood and all my life in Syria under the debris of my house and my husband’s grave. I was lonely as I had never been. When I first came to Gaziantep; the Turkish and Syrian community helped me find a home. Then I began to hold on to life in Turkey.”

One beautiful day I came across the SADA Women Empowerment and Solidarity Center. While I was walking down the street, I raised my head and saw a building, which was calling me with whispers. I followed the voice, opened the door and got in; at the very first moment I realized that my life would be better from then on.”

Amira, benefited from the services provided by the SADA Women’s Empowerment and Solidarity Center, operates under UN Women’s project “Strengthening the Resilience of Syrian Women and Girls and Host Communities” which is funded by the European Union and the Government of Japan. She was first enrolled in a Turkish language course and started to learn Turkish. “Day by day I made friends and decided to participate in the hairdressing and computer classes. My eagerness to learn was very much welcomed and motivated by SADA and I was given other opportunities to sustain my motivation” she says. 

Amira, now 85 years old, proves all of us that she is not of age. Learning connects her to life. “When you ask about my feelings; without any doubt; I can say I am happy here…

Everybody likes me here… Guess what; I am capable of doing my own shopping in Turkish!”

When Amira talks about her memories; she shows her tailoring certificate proudly, which was given in Syria when she was young. She underlines that; occupation always empowers women. Amira has been  a part of the “Tomorrow’s Women Committee” set up by Syrian, Afghani, Iraqi women who live in Gaziantep. She is currently participating in the weekly meetings of the committee which organises activities to empower refugee women.

As an active member of the committee Amira shows her id badge and says, “Take your seat in this wonderful life and never leave it! Become a member of an organised women alliance, believe in yourself and support other women”.

*The SADA Women’s Empowerment and Solidarity Center is co-financed by the European Union and the Government of Japan. It operates under the “Strengthening the Resilience of Syrian Women and Girls and Host Communities in Turkey” Project, implemented by UN Women in partnership with Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality, Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants.