By Milad Korkis Syriac journalist
When we search ancient and contemporary Syrian history, we notice that the Syrian woman has gone through many experiences and tremendous developments that paved the way for her, to present herself as an equal partner alongside men in leading society. The Syrian woman has proven herself as an essential individual in life who can bring in her own particular touch and distinctive handling of any event. Some people have sought to portray the Syrian woman as merely a housewife, wife, or mother, with no place in society other than family and her household. Many people have repeatedly tried to divert Syrian history from its true path and attempted to cancel out women’s role and rights in life, society, and all public and private domains. For too long a time, society and many of its domains were limited to men only in an attempt to undermine women’s rights.
Despite these attempts to keep her down, the Syrian woman spoke up. She was determined to prove herself and voice herself in this male society which had tried hard to restrict women’s freedoms by manipulating and only slightly opening the door for them to feel free and responsible within society.
The narrow freedom and responsibility given to women was not enough at all. Therefore, it was necessary for women to keep educating themselves and obtain knowledge as a weapon in proving themselves strong in Syrian society and revolution for her rights. In this way they were able to face the challenges and obstacles of the long history of deprivation women went through. From there began the story of women’s liberation from social barriers and proving themselves within their society.
I want to introduce a Syrian woman with a strong and determined character, one who I admire for her persistence and who did not shrink before achieving what she aspired to be within her society. Her motivation was her love for the people, her sincerity in her work, and her strong belief that she is able to do something for her society and people. She has become an example to Syrian women in work and perseverance. She is the Syrian woman Mrs. Ibtisam Abdullah al-Hawat, the steadfast woman who is full of determination to prove herself, wherever she is. Here, I will provide a brief and concise overview of Mrs. Hawat life and work to set an example for women who still consider themselves incapable of overcoming the barriers men have put in their way.
Mrs. Ibtisam Abdullah al-Hawat was born on June 16, 1967 in Deir ez-Zor in Syria. She is the daughter of the late Dr. Abdullah al-Hawat and Mrs. Najah Bitar. She completed her bachelor’s degree at Ali Youssef School in the city of Safita. Then she enrolled in a training course at hotel Cham Palace in the Syrian capital Damascus. In 1988, she started working at Safita Cham Palace in Safita city. She worked hard at Safita Cham Palace and was promoted to Finance Director. Mrs. Hawat is married to Mr. Samer Hazeem and they have three children; Randa is a graduate of Commerce, Marian is a graduate of Tourism, and Elias is also a graduate of Commerce.
In 2013, Mrs. al-Hawat was transferred to the Blue Beach Hotel in Latakia Province because circumstances worked against her. At the Blue Beach Hotel in Latakia, she had been treated with respect and appreciation by all hotel staff and management for her experience at Safita Cham Palace. A year after starting work in the Blue Beach Hotel, she retired from there according to the retirement age in the hotel business. But Cham Palaces and Hotels sent Mrs. Hawat to Safita Cham Palace where she was appointed as manageress of Safita Cham Palace by Mr. Ayman al-Malandy. So far, she has completed her fourth year as a manageress of Safita Cham Palace. Mrs. Hawat is not only the hotel manageress, but also a sister, a friend, and a mother to every hotel employee.
Progress and emancipation in society relies on each person’s knowledge of her or his own role within society, knowing and removing the barriers between individuals irrespective of ranks, and opening the way for intellectuals and those with expertise. Furthermore, progress and emancipation in society depend on each person’s intrinsic motivation and abilities for developing and advancing society and human life. We need to support the Syrian woman and provide more attention to her requirements so that she can play her true role in society, as an individual and an as essential partner alongside men, hand in hand in all domains. We must put hand in hand to achieve what we hope for ourselves and for others in society. We need to open up more about the role of successful women and make them an example to other women who are still waiting for the opportunity to come.
The concept of respecting others begins with respecting all people and respecting what they have to offer. We have to investing in what positively benefits society, avoid prejudging people, giving everyone her or his full right and freedom, and supporting all his or her steps for the advancement of society and life. Freedom and liberation of women from social and time barriers is an essential necessity for the progress of any society or nation.
Disclaimer: translated from the original Arabic. See the original here