It is not about being louder, it is about being bolder. We all wished to change the world when we were younger. We screamed it loud in our heads. We wanted to change poverty, we wanted to change violence and inequalities. However, very few committed to the voice inside their heads and pledged a change boldly.
“When I was 6 years old, everybody wanted to treat me like a little princess, showering me with love and tenderness. Meanwhile, my brother was being prepared to be tough, to handle life and to lead,” sounds like every girl’s words. I hear this all the day, all the times.
My life was a little bit different. Unlike many girls in my community, I enjoyed toughness. I got barbies but I also loved to play soccer with my brother and cousins. And in spite of the fact that I always made them lose the game, at least I tried. What I tried to do so bad is to integrate and explore how it feels to be powerful. Unfortunately, power back then meant “being a boy.”
I grew up to find out that there are many powerful human beings and they are not boys. One of them was my mom who survived cancer for her kids, the other was my grandma. Others were friends, public figures and female leaders who didn’t only change their world but also the surrounding. That’s when I recognized my mission to be one of them. I decided to hold my voice back at times when it is not effective and raise it when it can make a change. I committed to not to be loud with voice but bold with actions. I pledged to be the change the world needs to see in young girls.
It took me one full year to come to organizing a TEDxWomen event in my country, Syria. “People need to trust you first. Prove them you are determined to bring about positive change rather than empty motivational phrases,” that was exactly what Eyad Al-Khayat, my friend, supporter and partner, told me in our first meeting in March 2015.
On Thursday, October 27, 2016, the big day is finally here. Damascus sees its first TEDxJahezWomen as the first TEDxwomen event in Syria. The event kicked off with a plethora of excitement and enthusiasm. The sparkling eyes and heart beats of our 4 outstanding speakers, the curiosity of the audience and the passion and dedication of our volunteers were firing up the venue.
To be the voice of the voiceless is not a part-time job where you can take a day off when you are not in the mood to work. It is not temporary commitment where you can turn your back off on those who are charged everyday with the energy you produce nor it is an obligatory responsibility. It is a lifetime pledge, a choice, and a way of living.
From here, a Syrian deaf woman stood on TEDxJahezWomen stage to be the first Arabic deaf woman on a TEDx Stage. She delivered a silent talk, with thousands of unspoken words. Yet, it went through to our hearts. She was not loud. She was bold; bold enough to stand up, tell her story and encourage other women no matter what barriers might face, they are still capable of breaking the limits. She was, literally, the voice of the voiceless.