Meet Zainab, SEP Youth Ambassador in Jordan

Posted on June 05 2019

Meet Zainab, SEP Youth Ambassador in Jordan

My name is Zainab Shami, I’m 17 years old. I’m from Amman, Jordan.

Why do u SEP? What about this brand talks to you?


I SEP mainly because I am a strong supporter of the Palestinian cause. Aside from that, I love everything authentic about fashion. I love fashion that speaks about a place, that tells the story of a people. SEP does more than that. It tells a story of survival. I love the fact that it can make women independent, because financial independence is at the root of empowerment


How do you SEP?


I like to have fun with my choices. Mixing and matching items that are typically considered to be adult choices with younger trendier looks makes it so fresh! My favorite items are scarves. I love accessories and I love how versatile SEP scarves are. Also, they are the most folkloric of the pieces so they make the case quite vividly.


Have u been to Jerash Camp, where SEP Jordan operates?


Yes! I’ve been to the camp quite a few times. The vibe is infectiously warm and welcoming. I have offered camp children English classes as a service project but more so as a means to connect.


What are your feelings when you are at the camp?


I love being there. It is also so important to me because I have Palestinian roots and I want to know more about my people. It is also sad because seeing the conditions of the people firsthand isn’t so easy.


Has SEP changed the way you see refugees? If so, how?


Indeed it has! First of all, I like how they hold on to their heritage. Also, looking from the outside in, people tend to think of refugees as people with no hope. SEP has managed to change that stereotype. They are also sadly viewed as a burden to the societies. Getting to know them on a human level is very enlightening.

 

Do your friends wear designer bags? If so, how do you feel wearing a non-classical-designer bag?

Yes many of my friends wear designer bags. It’s kind of a coming of age thing. Again, wearing a non classical designer bag ties with the authenticity I mentioned earlier. I feel like it keeps things real and a little mystical when you’re wearing something that people will ask about, as opposed to the traditional in-your-face well known logo or pattern.


Zainab, is there anything else you would like us to know?


One more thing is that SEP is in many ways like me, a hybrid. I am of mixed origin; half Bosnian ethnicity and half Palestinian. I also consider myself Jordanian as I lived in Jordan all of my life, it is my home: this mix has enriched my view of things. SEP is like that with its founder’s Italian origins, her base in Switzerland, the Palestinian heart of the project and the Jordanian setting. I love how SEP operates in the Palestinian refugee camp of Jerash, but includes and works equally with Syrian as well as Jordanian embroidery artists. 

All Photos by Anastasia Casey.

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