Zainab's daugher and her friends as imagined by Hani Abbas. All rights reserved Hani Abbas for SEP, April 2016.
Zainab and her husband have been together for two years; they got married when she was 20. Zainab started off her married life as a housewife; her husband was a freelance laborer. The high supply of working hands made it difficult for him to find work, so he only worked intermittently. Long periods without a source of income took a toll on the family and forced them to accumulate debt which they had no idea how they were going to repay.
Matters were complicated further when Zainab fell pregnant with her first and only child. Wondering how she could feed her baby with the meager pay her husband received, Zainab felt weak and desperate. She could wait no longer, so she decided to take matters into her own hands and find work.
Zainab never attended university and had not received vocational training, this made her fear that she would never find an honorable job. But she did not give up and she continued to talk to her friends and neighbors about her family's financial difficulties and her desire to find a source of living. One day, a friend told her about SEP and took her to its workshop. Zainab knew she would work for SEP the moment she saw the space and met the other women. She was filled with relief for having found a way to support her family.
Since she started to work with SEP, Zainab has been feeling stronger and more independent. She is happy to be working alongside her husband, building their future together. Zainab dreams of giving her child the most comfortable life she can. She will do her best to provide her daughter with opportunities Zainab herself never had.
What SEP says about Zainab: Quiet and peaceful is how SEP would describe Zainab. She brings calmness into the SEP house when we are rushing to prepare an order for delivery or we are in a panic because the shipments are late. On top of that, the way Zainab works hard e to provide for her little family is truly admirable and heartwarming.
By Nada Aradeh and Shuhd Al Sharki