Skip to main site content.
A woman and children pass damaged buildings in Syria. (REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi)

Civil war

Meet the Syrian women training emergency response teams to rescue bomb victims

By WITW Staff on March 15, 2016

A Syrian woman trained as a nurse who has fled her home country during its prolonged civil war now works training emergency response teams in Turkey to help respond to the violence in Syria, she explained to The Daily Beast.

The woman, who goes by the pseudonym Gardenia, said that her brother and friends were targeted by the government for participating in the uprising against Bashar al-Assad, leading her to eventually flee to Turkey.  She described how women have played a significant role in the opposition in Syria, organizing protests and media coverage, helping to evacuate refugees, and working as smugglers to get weapons and medicine through checkpoints. Now, in Istanbul, she and 22 other women help coordinate the Syrian Civil Defense team.

“Right now we are rescuing people from under the bombs,” she said. “But we hope that this is only temporary. We hope that someday, as civil defense workers, we will be able to rebuild Syria.”

Read the full story at The Daily Beast.


Syrian women take undercover video of life in Raqqa under ISIS

As refugees in Lebanon, Syrian women “are now taking on traditionally male roles”

Syrian woman gathers refugees in Turkey into women’s choir to grieve, find strength