Giving my children an education..

Itab Azzam


I am 25 years old and come from Douma in the suburbs of Damascus. I have two little children Salim and Sima. Before the uprising I had spent 10 years building and decorating my home, but I only lived in it for five months before I was forced to flee - the shelling and air bombardment were too intense. I left with my husband and my children to a safer area with literally nothing. In the new place we struggled to earn our living and my children couldn't go to school. 

God sent us luck and I met the team from Sabbara, they taught me embroidery and gave me a job. Since I have started working with them I have managed to pay the rent, buy a carpet, blankets, fridge and most importantly send my kids to school.  I work as hard as possible and on days where my husband doesn't find work in construction he embroiders with me (I think he is loving it).  Working with Sabbara is the only way we could survive, but that is not all, it helps me to be creative, I love working with so many colours. It has boosted my confidence and my husband has new respect for me.

Work gave me confidence

Itab Azzam


I am 20 years old from Deir al-Zour,  I was forced to flee my home and abandon my dreams of going to university.  When I first moved to Damascus I was depressed and spent most of my time at home watching TV until I came across Sabbara.

I started working hard and with the money I earned, I managed to enrol myself in a course at the Open University in Damascus and pay for my education.

I am naturally creative and love to make my own designs. I also teach other women and mentor them.

I have never been so confident in myself and in my ability to play a positive role in society. Sabbara has helped me grow stronger and I am so happy that I can study without having to burden my parents”

Better future for my girls

Itab Azzam


In Syria I lived with an abusive husband that who once put me into in an intensive care. Since I started working with Sabbara I have become an independent strong woman.  Earning my own living has made me able to stand up to my husband. I am now the only bread winner in the family. I send my two daughters to school and I will insist that they go to university so they can enjoy a life better than the one I had; no early marriage for them.  

Work helped me with my psychological problems

Itab Azzam


I am a fifty-year old woman from Homs and, for most of the time since the battle for our home town, I suffered from extreme PTSD. I developed phobias that were completely debilitating (fears of heights above ground level, fear of strangers). Since I started working with Sabbara, my phobias have decreased beyond what I ever could have expected. The work has provided me with an outlet for my feelings and fills that void has always dragged me into a cycle of fear. Working has been better than any medication I could have been taken. Sometimes my enthusiasm means I produce so much that Sabbara struggles to cope with the supply. Whenever I wake up at night with any kind of fear, I start to embroider until it goes away.