Produced by: Sharq.Org
Part of the Curated Collection: Taboos & Society,
Original Interview Length:
Interview Location: Lebanon
Production Team:
Available Collateral:

Transcript of the interview (translated from Arabic):

Naturally, women are prevented from many things, especially if they belong to the category of marginalised women. For example, if we belong to a certain social class or we hold a certain nationality, we are often told that we are not allowed to speak just because we are women. Phrases and remarks were made to us such as "your father is talking, so you refrain from talking. I can't go anywhere on my own, for example if I want to see a gynaecologist, I can't go alone and I can't ask him the questions that concerns me. I can’t even trust this doctor as I do not know what his intellectual background is. For example, if he\she was a doctor in the area where I live, he might share my privacy after the meeting. Certainly, this has a great effect on our sexual and reproductive health. We mainly suffer from a lack of physical culture, and we cannot seek help from specialists, and this matter is a great danger to us and our health.

Since I was young, I started my studies here, during the period of conflict between March 8 and 14 in Lebanon, and the time when the Syrian army left Lebanon. At that time, there was no distinction between the Syrian army and the Syrian people who came to live here, like my father, from 1968. The suffering also increased after I grew up and entered the Lebanese University. The fees were the same as the Lebanese, and they treated me as a foreigner and this was sometimes a hindrance for me. I had difficulty continuing my studies, the fees were more than a million liras, a million and fifty thousand was a lot for me. I had to take out a loan to be able to finish university. Also, finding a job was very difficult, and my identity has always been an obstacle whenever I tried to get a job.

There were additional difficulties, because I had problems with my identity papers and residency papers in Lebanon, which had been invalid for a year. Because of the financial situation, I prepared a plan to try to adjust my papers in order to move more towards working with organisations that do not discriminate on the basis of identity. I work with a lot of supporters from Daraj Media, and they even provided me with a platform in which to express this suffering.

Prosperity and peace begin gradually. Our structural problems in the country require many steps and stages before we begin to build a foundation for peace, on the level of small communities, on the level of small marginalised groups. How can we build a peaceful country unless these marginalised groups obtain peace? I see the peace process starting from the bottom up. For example, women who make up more than half of society, are actually half of the institution in the workplace and the foundation of the family institution. This group has not obtained its rights. This category must obtain all its rights in medicine, for example. Now, with the economic crisis, the unemployment rate among women has increased, and it has become difficult to secure health supplies, such as menstrual supplies, or even, for example, contraceptive pills that have been discontinued from the market. If this group cannot live in prosperity "not only in peace", then it will be difficult for us to reach prosperity and peace.