Zainab was born in Aleppo, Syria and has fond memories of school, friends, and neighbors until the war came and “ruined everything.” She was 12, and the eldest of 6.
At first, war was in the distance, but then it arrived with all its terror, and life changed. No school. No electricity. Limited water. Missile strikes. A neighbor’s house hit. She felt sick all the time. She recalls a candle falling while they were filling oil lamps and then the room was on fire. She saved her younger brother, and her father and the neighbors put the fire out. After they fled she never saw those neighbors again.
After arriving in Turkey she was sent to work sewing clothing. Working without papers meant sewing 6-7 days a week for meager wages, and hiding with her younger sibling during inspections.
Zainab spent nearly 10 years in Turkey dreaming about peace and going to school. When she arrived in RI she was too old for high school, but that dream is still alive. Once her English improves, she’ll get her GED, and dreams about fashion design.
Zainab likes the BD training because of the people–she says she feels good about herself when she is here. She has already improved two grade levels in English literacy, and recently interviewed for a full-time job with a drapery company and is waiting to hear.
Zainab is a natural leader with a strong work ethic, and we know she will continue to succeed in her new home.