Living in a distant small village located in an occupied area is not easy by any measure, and one of the hardest obstacles to face is how to reach out to the outer world and communicate with people all around the globe. I was born and raised in the occupied Syrian Golan, a Syrian territory which was occupied by Israel in 1967, and ever since, residents of the area (20,000 living in 5 small villages) still struggle on daily basis to overcome the notable effects of 43 years of occupation, facing total disconnection from homeland Syria, also an ethnic and cultural marginalization, and of course inner hierarchical conflicts where women are always at least one step behind. It was 1998 when internet first reached my village Majdal Shams, and since then – when I was still 12 years old – I started to realize the magnitude of the web. I learned new things daily and got in contact with people from all over the world using different platforms and social media websites, and now, after almost 4 years of professional online activism I aspire to help women in my community to understand the endless potentials of change and empowerment that Web 2.0 can afford, and how easy it is to become part of local and global networks of people getting together to help make our world a better place for everyone, and especially for women. Women's empowerment movement can be efficiently boosted by Web 2.0 while joinable tools of communication and interaction are used. Once familiar with social media, a woman can use the power of words to reach her peers and spread ideas and actions calls, share personal stories and experiences, and also receive endless flow of information and knowledge. I personally find it very exciting to be able to empower myself through the web even though I live in a very unique, somehow, awkward reality, and sincerely believe that it is the right and also duty of every woman to take part in this wonderful endless discourse. In Mar 15 something happened in my homeland Syria, people rose demanding freedom and justice, and the revolution continues despite the shocking crackdowns and horrific loss of lives. I'm proudly taking part in helping my people in Syria even by the simplest mean of spreading the words and updating my Facebook and Twitter contacts with the latest news of the revolution. It is no wonder that I have the feeling that I'm stronger as a woman now, because I challenge my hard reality both in my occupied village and my homeland Syria, together with group of women and men where women take a leading role; I might not succeed to make tremendous change, but I can still tackle the most important issues that I share with women in my community, and together empower ourselves through a genuine faith and developed sense of partnership and The power of Web 2.0 is available, and all we need is the will to use it.

Take action! This post was submitted in response to Voices of Our Future Application: Empowerment and Web 2.0.


I really enjoyed reading your story...every small change builds toward a better tomorrow and you are part of it...You are a powerful woman. I stand with you.

I look forward to your insightful stories of courage.


Shefaa, thank you so much for raising your voice from Syria. With all the challenges your country faces, voices like yours are a clear cause for optimism. I love your statement, "it is the right and also duty of every woman to take part in this wonderful, endless discourse." Yourd her concluding statement, "The power of web 2.0 is available and all we need is the will to use it," is a t-shirt slogan waiting to happen. Hmmm. how do you say that in Arabic?