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Jordan- 'Eid cookies' campaign gives displaced Syrian women a chance at self-reliance  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Jordan Times - 14/08/2012

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Um Shaher, a Syrian woman who fled Damascus for Jordan four months ago, prepares a pan of mamoul during the ‘Eid cookies’ campaign at the Professional Associations Complex on Friday (Photo by Muath Freij)
(MENAFN - Jordan Times) Around 40 Syrian families benefited from a campaign in which they prepared cookies and sold them to the public at the Professional Associations Complex (PAC) in Amman last Friday.

The "Kaek Eid" (Eid Cookies) campaign was organised by the initiative "Your Iftar is on Your Way" in cooperation with the Jordan Engineers Association to give families the chance to earn their own money, according to Mutaz Nairoukh, a member of the initiative.

"Some families were upset because they were receiving aid and they wanted to depend on themselves to meet their needs in life. This campaign provided them with the chance to do so," he told The Jordan Times.

In the one-day campaign, Syrians began preparing mamoul, the date-filled shortbread-like cookies traditionally enjoyed during Eid Al Fitr, at 9:00am and sold them at the PAC after the noon prayer.

Hanan Shams, who moved to Jordan two months ago from the Syrian city of Daraa, said that the campaign helped her provide badly needed income for her family.

"Since we arrived in Jordan, my husband and I have not found any work," Shams told The Jordan Times while preparing cookies.

"In the first five hours, I sold around 10 kilogrammes of cookies," she said.

Um Shaher, who came from Damascus four months ago, said that the campaign showed the unity among Syrians in Jordan.

"You can see that at one table women from different cities are working together. This is really a good sign that all Syrians are like one big family," Um Shaher added.

Um Moataz, who came from the city of Homs, said that the campaign reminded her of the Eid atmosphere back home.

"We used to start preparing mamoul one week before Eid. Although we did not make it this year in Syria, we had the chance to do it in Jordan," the mother of seven noted.

"Because of this campaign, I am ready to make cookies at my home to help my family financially," she added.

Jordanian and foreign volunteers took part in the event as well.

Nowar Syouf, one of the Jordanian volunteers, said she noticed that the Syrian women were eager to work.

"They want to depend on themselves and work hard to meet their needs in life. They did not want to stay at home and receive aid without working," she told The Jordan Times.

"I decided to take part because first I like volunteering. Also, I think it is really bad what is happening in Syria and it is really good to do anything that can help Syrians," said Zoe Quinn, a British volunteer.

"Although I was fasting for the first time and it was hard for me because it is my first time making mamoul, it was really a good experience and I really liked it," Quinn told The Jordan Times.

Nour Abu Laban, a Jordanian visitor, said that she heard of the campaign on the radio and decided to stop by the PAC.

"They were really happy and energetic to work. Also, the cookies looked good and the aroma was amazing," she said after buying some.

"At least such campaigns let Syrians forget the abject conditions they are facing and the horrible scenes they experienced back home," she added.

Sabah Tahan, a Jordanian whose two children took part in the event, expressed hope that in the future other campaigns will be held to help the displaced Syrians.

"I have not seen Syrians happy like today. I hope that Jordanians will hold similar activities to provide Syrians with the chance to depend on themselves financially," Tahan said.


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