fatma's story

Fatma: I joined AWSO to learn how to make decisions.

My name is Fatma. I'm 31 years old, married with 3 children, and my husband works at the Sound & Light Company. I heard about ADEW through its employees who used to visit the Amr Mosque area and talk to us about ADEW's services and activities. I participated in ADEW's Arab Women Speak Out (AWSO) program, in an attempt to learn about the various topics that the curriculum covers, especially the cooperation and decision-making ones, because I have never known how to express myself or defend my opinion.

Before participating in the program, I lacked decision-making skills and was unable to have proper conversations with my husband. I also used to be very aggressive with my children. However, after attending the program, I learned how to properly engage with people, inside and outside of my home. I am also now more capable of expressing my opinions and making important decisions. I even managed to solve a problem between my father-in-law and his son, something that I am particularly proud of.

On the other hand, concerning my children, I used to be over-controlling, especially with my younger son whom I used to beat. Now, through the AWSO program, I have learnt how to deal with him properly, and in return, he has started to listen to me which has created a better atmosphere at home. Only then was it really made clear to me that his stubbornness was only a reaction to my aggressive attitude towards him, and not the other way around. Besides that, the Health Sessions were also very useful to me, as they taught me how to take care of my family's health, how to choose healthy food, and the importance of milk for children.

I even learned how to prepare a full healthy meal, which was very important for my son Mahmoud, who is anemic. Since I have learnt about high-in-iron-meals, thank God his health is improving by the day. Furthermore, I learnt how to design and start up a small-sized project. I previously tried to start up and run a Cyber Café, but failed and had to close it down. After AWSO's Project Designing & Start Up sessions, I decided to start up a new clothing and furniture project with my sister. As I run my business, I keep in mind the things I have learnt to apply when needed, such as identifying the capital needed, selling of the project, incomings & outgoings, and more.

After completing AWSO, I felt that I wanted to share what I had learnt with all the people around me, so I started talking to my neighbours and the people in my community about my experience, the things I have learnt, and how it has helped me with my work, my family and the people in my life.

Arab Women Speak Out