Kadria Hussien

Director, Alsama Centre Shatila

I am determined to do the best for these girls because they are the most neglected group in our society.

Born in Darayya in Syria, she arrived in Shatila in 2012

Kadria loved going to school. She finished her 9thgrade top of the class and was excited to move on to the ‘big’ school. On that first day she got up early and was about to head out of the door, when her father barred her way and told her of her engagement. ‘It is no longer appropriate for you to go to school,’ her mother added. Three months later, age 14, she was married. Yet, she continued reading in secret, and succeeded in delaying her first pregnancy until 18. When war broke out, she fled with her five children to Shatila. Frightened and traumatised at first, Kadria quickly realized that now she had an opportunity to do what she had always wanted: to work and to educate herself so that she can become a role model for her daughters and help change society for the better. Over the next 7 years Kadria worked for various local and international charities operating in Shatila, including UNHCR and Terre des Hommes Association, before opening the Alsama Centre in January 2020.

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