Success Story of Two Women at the Talks Session of the Third International Women and Justice Summit

Two women won acclaim at the Talks session of the Third International Women and Justice Summit Syrian Maysaa Abu Hassen, who is a human rights advocate and worked as a media activist, and Fatma İpek Alçı of Konya, who has won the award of the “hero of the year” for the Swedish Heroes Contest, are both a source of inspiration with their success.

The Third International Women and Justice Summit, which was jointly organized by the Women and Democracy Association (KADEM) and the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services, was held in Istanbul based on the main theme of “Strengthening of the Family Institution”.

At the KADEM Talks session which was held on the second day of the summit, Syrian Maysaa Abu Hassen, who is a human rights advocate and worked as a media activist, and Fatma İpek Alçı, who lives in Sweden and has 7 children, shared their success stories with the attendants.

Who do you think you are?

Syrian Maysaa Abu Hassen, who worked as a media activist, told her story about how she witnessed two wars which strengthened her personality and determined her way of life, and her success journey which started with the question “Who do you think you are?”, which was directed at her at various times. 30 year-old Hassen stated:

The question “ who do you think you are?” is the reason of my success in my life. When I was first asked this question in 2013, I was sitting at home. Somebody knocked at the door. When my father came in my room, I was reporting “news” on my computer. I was reporting the offenses committed by Syrian regime to the world .  My father said “are you working for the revolutionary movement? Who do you think you are? You cannot fight against this unfair regime alone. Leave the country immediately.” I became obliged to leave Syria. I lived in three different countries. I faced many struggles and difficulties during my life. It was difficult for me. But I was able to cope with the difficulties.    4 years later, I found myself in a large hall. The company where I was working was going to make a presentation. But my boss who was supposed to make the presentation went out and did not come back. All our efforts and preparations would go down the drain. It was our turn to talk. I told to my friend that “I have prepared the presentation anyway, I will present it”. My friend was surprised. I asked myself the question which was always directed at me, “who do you think you are? “ At that moment, I took the stage, and made the presentation that I had prepared for my boss with success. Hundreds of persons in the hall applauded.

There may be persons who wish to see the qualities and talents within you. Ask yourself “what can I do to make them see this? .  Never give up. Don’t stop. Because you are a unique fingerprint, you are a special DNA. Somebody may constantly come and ask you “who do you think you are?”, tell them “I am better than I was yesterday. How about you, who do you think you are?”

Swedish Aunt Fatma won the award of the “hero of the year”

Fatma İpek Alçı of Konya, who lives in Sweden, told us about her success which enabled her to receive the award of the hero of the year.

“I got divorced from my husband, and went to Sweden with my 5 children. There I got married again. I gave birth to two more children. While my husband was helping me in every work at the beginning, he changed subsequently and stopped assisting me. I moved in with my relatives. Everything was a problem here. Crime rate was too high in the area where we were living. Women and girls were unable to go out. I gathered the women in the neighborhood and applied to the municipality. We received security training, and as women, we started to ensure the security of the neighborhood at night together with the police. I applied to the Swedish government and requested them to open a school for women. I helped illiterate women receive training. In addition, I organized a Swedish language course for Turkish women. The number of volunteer women increased to 300. I ensured that all my children receive education. My daughter became Deputy Minister in Sweden. I cooperated with the municipality.  I am providing cultural tours for women every week. Children used to go to harmful places. I fought for their closure. I even ensured the formation of a group of women who opposed the socialist party which were criticizing my actions, ensured that those women vote against them, and caused them to lose the elections. We defeated a party whıch has been leading for 30 years. We cooperated with the police, and cleaned our neighborhood from dealers. I am holding a meeting with the police every Monday. I introduced English and knitting courses. My aim now is to open a workplace for those children and youngsters who are prone to crimes. I believe that we will achieve this in cooperation with Swedish government. Because I am on the angels’ side”.

Having won acclaim from the audiences, Hassen and Alcı were applauded loudly for a long time. At the end of the session, Dr. Saliha Okur Gümrükçüoğlu, the President of KADEM gave certificates to the two successful women, and wised that their inspiring story will set an example for other women.