Today is International Women’s Day. I wanted to take the time to share the story of two strong, beautiful, intelligent, and independent women. Women who’s lives were flipped upside down by war, yet who continue to dream. Women who can’t see the future but continue to believe their future is brighter.
First, I would like to introduce you to Vera. Vera use to be a lawyer in Aleppo, Syria. She worked there as long as she could before the war got bad and left her with nothing. She fled on foot to Turkey and finally arrived in Greece on a raft. She’s been waiting without family in Greece for almost two years. Her parents are still stuck in Syria and although they have attempted to cross the sea, they keep getting arrested.
Vera dreams of one day returning to Syria to continue her life there. Right now her focus is just being reunited with her family and being able to leave Greece so she can continue her journey to achieving her dreams.
The day I met Vera she was at the park with her friend Sara. They met each other in a refugee camp, since then they have become really good friends.
Sara’s family was from Palestine and fled from Palestine in 1948. She was born in Syria but considered herself a refugee twice because of her family’s past. Sara and her seven-year-old son have been in Greece for almost two years. Her husband passed away from a heart attack a few months before her son was born.
Sara, like Vera made the decision to flee Syria when the war got really bad. She knew the only option for her family was to leave. She and her son made the treacherous journey to Greece. When I met Sara, she had just gotten word that her paperwork had been approved and she would be joining her father in Norway.
My hope on this International Women’s Day is that Vera’s parents have been able to reunite with her. That Sara and her son are safe in Norway and making a new future for themselves. I hope we never forget the women around the world who are fighting to keep their family safe. To keep the dreams of their family alive.