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Sisters spread hope in Jordan

22 October 2019, Voices from the Field

Using music to raise awareness of child marriage

Sisters Hiba* and Rama* weren’t always so audacious. After eight-year-old Rama was hit by shrapnel during an attack on their house in Syria, she became depressed. Older sister Hiba, too, was affected by their family’s subsequent move to the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan. Her hopes for a good education and becoming a lawyer were dashed. 

From sisters to friends 

Confidence and hope grew from an unexpected place – the sisters’ talent for rap. Hiba started writing music from a young age. Encouraged by her teachers, she continued writing, and slowly got her sister involved. 

“I sensed how negative her thoughts and views on life were,” Hiba says. “Little by little, I approached her with my writings. At first, she gave me cold responses. She never really encouraged me to write more. She stuck to that cold attitude of hers.” With time, she adds “writing brought us close.” 

 

Fighting for their Syrian sisters 

Now the sisters advocate against child marriage by writing and performing their raps for the refugees inside the Za’atari camp. “Here’s some advice to all those who want to marry off their daughters at the age of 14: don’t do it,” says Rama. “Many girls in this camp have talents, but because of their parents they are not able to share these talents with others,” adds Hiba. When girls are married off, they are forced to quit school and turn their attentions to becoming homemakers and mothers.

With their candor and persistence, the girls have already succeeded in preventing one marriage inside the camp and have the support of their parents to reject marriage offers of their own.

Empowering girls across the camp

Thanks to support from people like you, Hiba and Rama have not only their parent’s support, but the backing of Save the Children’s staff throughout the refugee camp. They’re being mentored through a soccer and resilience-building program to continue to speak out for their rights, and the rights of all girls to stay safe and protected. 

*Names changed to protect identity.

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