Sustaining Sisterly Solidarity among Syrian Women Faced with War and Displacement

On International Women’s Day, Majeda Korbane pays respect to the strength of the Syrian women with whom she has worked and thanks them for their friendship and kindness, for sharing their lives and sustaining sisterly solidarity while sacrificing so much to keep their families alive and together.

Please see original post in Arabic, with English translations below.

8th March 2022

………بدي أكتب عن النساء السوريات ونضالهن المستمر اللي بيستمر من لحظة بلوغهن لحد

نضالهن على كل المستويات ! الحرب السورية والمقتلة اللي صارت هي أكبر وأهم دليل على قدرة المرأة السورية على الصمود وعلى المرونة العالية اللي بتتمتع فيها ، بالوقت اللي المجتمع عم يطحنها بعاداته وتقاليده ويحاصرها بأعرافه وذكوريته !

أي وبدون أدنى تحيز ! الخبرات اللي عاشتها المرأة السورية من فقدان وقتل وتهجير وفوقها ضغط المجتمع وقدرتها على مواجهة كل هدول بأنها قدرت تنقذ المركب اللي فيه عائلتها كان تحدي كبير،  الرجل عاجز عن أنه يواجهه بالرغم من كل الامتيازات اللي بيحملها من مجتمعنا الذكوري ومن الفرص المقدمة له …… وطبعا أنا ما بدي عمم بالتأكيد لكن عم أحكي عن مشاهداتي وخبرتي خلال عشر سنوات برصد معاناة النساء بكل الحالات ( النزوح ، اللجوء ، وداخل البلد) ، وبعتقد هي فترة كافية لإعطاء وجهة نظر ما بتحتمل الكثير من الخطأ .

اليوم وأنا عم أعمل مراجعات لكل المواقف اللي مرقت معي لنساء وأنا وحدة منهن قديش قاتلنا لنستمر ! قديش نرمينا بمعارك لنكمل بالرغم من كل الظروف ، ويمكن بكتير من الأوقات نجونا ، بس الأذية الغير منظورة كتير كبيرة ، نحن كنساء منخبيها وقت اللي منلاقي حالنا حققنا نصر لعائلاتنا وقضايانا ، ومننسى الضرر الذاتي اللي بحاجة لترميم بعد ما يكون تراكم لسنيين

!الضحايا الأكثر تضررا من الحروب هنن النساء والأطفال ، بالرغم من أنه أبطال الحروب المعلنيين هنن الرجال

حتى موت الرجل بمعارك الحروب هو كارثة للنساء ! مو لأنو هي اختارت هالشي ، بس لأنو المجتمع حاصرها بزاوية التبعية للرجل ، ومحاولة الخروج من هي الزاوية بتكلفها أحيانا حياتها!

كتير في كلام لازم ينقال !

……….وللحديث بقية


Today, on International Women’s Day, I would like to write about Syrian women and their ongoing struggles which start from the moment they reach puberty until .………… 

Our struggle is on all levels! The Syrian War and the carnage that has ensued has become the most important evidence of our ability to become resilient and flexible in adapting to radically new circumstances – at home and in exile.

The War and its aftermath are occurring at a time when Syrian society is also crushing women and girls with its gendered customs and traditions, besieging them with sustaining norms of dominant masculinity!

I can say, without the slightest bias, that the experiences that the Syrian women I have worked with in terms of war and conflict, death and displacement, bereavement and loss, demonstrates that Syrian women have had to and have managed to save themselves and their “family” against all the odds. That was a great challenge. And on top of all that, we have had to cope with the pressures of a society built on rigid masculinity and gendered norms.

We have learned the ability to face all these challenges. Many men are simply unable to face such problems, despite all the privileges offered to them by our male dominated society.

Of course, I do not intend to generalize about all men. I am talking about my observations and experience during ten years of monitoring the suffering of women in all many contexts (as internally displace, asylum-seekers). I think it is a sufficient period to gain clear insights.

Today, on International Women’s Day, I am reflecting on all the things that have happened to me in my life and all the things that have happened to the women I have worked with and supported in my activism.

I am one of them. I recognize our struggle. I realise our battles continue all through our lives! I recognise the battles that we were all thrown into during and after the war. I realise how we had to sustain our relationships at home and at work despite all the circumstances, and how we gave strength to one another.

We may have survived many onslaughts, many times, but the unforeseen harm is so great.

We as women conceal the harm that has been done to us, especially when that leads to achieving security, unity and peace for our families and other issues we face in our lives.

We forget that self-damage needs to be repaired after accumulating over years.

Those most affected by wars are women and children.

And yet the declared heroes of wars are men!

Even the death of a man in war is a disaster for women not because she chose this, but because society sustains and promotes her dependence on men.

Trying to get out of a bad situation sometimes costs a woman her life!

A lot of words spoken but the conversation continues……..

We find strength in sisterly support.



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