Celebrating Resilience, A Conversation with Nomat from Eastern Ghouta

1. What is your current role at Karam Foundation? What does your work entail?

I am the Project Coordinator for the Eastern Ghouta Children's Food Project.  I work with local stakeholders including the Provincial Council of Rural Damascus and the Rural Damascus Health Directorate for the implementation of the project. This includes the distribution of the food to medical points in order to reach the children who have been identified as malnourished. Unfortunately though, due to the extremely poor security situation, implementation of the project has continued but slowed down.

2. What were your educational or career goals? How have they changed?

My goal was to complete my university studies which I haven’t been able to do because of the war and the siege and so I lost my seat at Damascus University. I was able to go back to my studies via a online university to study government institution management, and did really well despite the difficult circumstances. My professional goal is to apply what I've learned in school to lead in-depth community needs assessments in order to improve the lives of the people, for example leading initiatives to make education more accessible.

With the current circumstances, my immediate goal is to help save my people that are living under the constant threat of death. I want the world to know that we are human beings beings. That when we hear the sound of warplanes and missiles, we die a thousand deaths before actually dying. That on a daily basis,  50 to 60 people, including women and children are killed. We are living a reality that is dangerous, starved, and exhausted –one that subjects us to daily horror. And we have no idea what awaits us.

3. What is the biggest obstacle you face?

Safety, safety, safety. The danger that surrounds us from everywhere prevents us from working. We can not reach our place of work and most of our time is spent trapped in basements which are not necessarily safe but are the only shelters from the bombing

4. What qualities do your female peers acquire that you most admire?

I admire my peers for their optimism – their positivity and will to keep going in spite of the challenges we face on a daily basis. Their hopeful spirit and their deep understanding and care for others.