“Empowerment is a two way-street. I rushed to support refugees; and they invigorated my existence, shifted my mind set, and revealed a world of growth opportunities.”
Three years ago, I embarked on a life-changing experience, when I joined efforts to support Syrian refugees in Armenia. Landlocked with scarce economic opportunities, Armenia struggled to accommodate an unexpected refugees influx. Most of them found themselves desperate and stuck in limbo.
Thanks to Impact Hub Yerevan, I initiated a women empowerment program catered to Syrian refugees. Its primary focus was to support Syrian women— with zero work experience— to launch a new chapter as bread winners.
My Middle Eastern background and native Arabic language skills helped overcome significant cultural barriers, maximize output and program impact.
Watching Syrian women shedding their fears and arduously embracing risks to reinvent themselves was a perfectly-timed wake up call to my old self. It made me question my self-imposed limitations and kindled the determined pursuit of a new career.
Listen here to my podcast hosted by the change maker American-Armenian figure Sara Anjargolian on EVN report. It is the story of my volunteer experience that triggered a new passion and shaped a new pursuit of Culinary Diplomacy and Food photography.