A woman beyond headlines – Om Mohammed's story

“It is never too late to learn something new and acquire some new expertise” this is how Nusrah Slameh (Om Mohammed) started telling her story.

“It is never too late to learn something new and acquire some new expertise” this is how Nusrah Slameh (Om Mohammed) started telling her story.

Om Mohammed, a 54-year-old- registered Ex-Gazan, got a Diploma in Arabic language, and worked as an Arabic teacher for six years. She lives in Jerash Camp with her husband and eight children, three of which are persons with disability.

Poverty and impotence were never enough reasons to make Nusrah give up or layback, especially after her husband lost his job due to severe illness. Her children’s love and her everlasting wish to provide them with the best possible quality of life were always the primary motive for each step she takes and for any effort she makes.

Despite the struggles and the many challenges, Nusrah never lost hope and faith, she worked hard to gain and learn new skills that can help improve the family’s living conditions and daily income. “I participated in different trainings related to perfumes’ composition and flower arrangements through some Community Based Organizations (CBOs) in the camp,” said Om Mohammed.

She worked several months in composing perfumes and selling them to the local markets, but due to COVID-19 lockdown and constant closures, she could not continue. After the closures were lifted, Nusrah heard that there is a plumbing training held at one of the CBOs, in which she decided to participate and learn something that is considered very new and unusual especially to women.

“Learning new things or skills has nothing to do with how old you are or what your gender is, all humans maybe exposed to anything even those considered as taboos. Most people were curious as to why I chose Plumbing – I thought being a craftswoman will allow me to look after my responsibilities as a mother and wife, in addition to, it being a challenging and knowledgeable profession” Om Mohammed explained.

After she completed the training, she became a trainer for more than 20 women from the camp and started doing simple plumbing works in addition to plants’ arrangements at some shelters and shops so she can afford to buy her son’s medicine.

Balancing between ambition and responsibilities was never easy, but patience and determination are the secret recipe for successful projects. Many of Palestine refugee women are Superheroes each in her own field and place. Om Mohammed is a great example of a strong woman who managed to grab success and achievements by the hand, despite the challenges and obstacles.

“My children are a precious gift, that I need to save and protect, and I will do anything I can to support them” Nusrah ended her story with a proud smile.

UN entities involved in this initiative
UNRWA
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East