Conquering Fear to Embrace Entrepreneurship

Aliya Bashir
Posted April 26, 2016
Samia-Al-Sayed: “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” – Martin Luther King. (1/1)

Samia-Al-Sayed is a passionate wonder woman who is full of positive energy and hope. She is a powerful woman who believes in the leadership of the women with a strong and powerful voice. She views every situation positively, strongly believing for better outcomes. Her confidence, persistence and positive approach to life are the greatest attributes of her life that propel her to advocate for the hopeless Syrian women braving the conflict.

“Our voice has to be loud. It only belongs to us and only us. We shouldn’t fear telling our stories and connect with others. It is only through these powerful connections with other women that we can inspire change, and empower ourselves and those around us,” Samia emphatically asserts.

Born and raised in Syria, she is an IT engineer by profession. Even though she has a special ability due to polio that affected her legs during her childhood, this has never stopped her from making a difference in other women’s lives. She lives in Damascus in Syria. Besides her social work engagements, Samia works part time in a private real estate development company – BAHOLDING.

Samia has seen and experienced the worst humanitarian crisis and human rights violations in Syria and yet she still keeps on the rough road driving to make changes in the lives of the affected Syrian women.

“Since the beginning of 2011, we as Syrian people have faced hard moments relating to the crisis which still makes our lives a nightmare,” she says.

“I feel proud that I am a woman and my physical disability did not stop me,” she says. Samia’s childhood was tough and daunting, spending much of her childhood between doctors and hospitals for surgical operations related to the polio effect on her legs.

She is the founder of – Sinnaraty, a business platform for women making crocheted handicrafts - Home decorations, Kitchen accessories, Women accessories, Apparels, and different types of embroideries ( also commissions Syrian heritage handicrafts made by local women who have either physical disabilities or are from other marginalized groups. She is a change maker who believes in empowering women and fighting against all the odds of life with a positive outlook and hard work.

Samia is also passionate in improving the situation of women especially the challenged and poor. The courage of Samia to organize the women in her community in a time of such a crisis is remarkable and is what makes her a stand out leader.

Samia says, “As women we need to drive our lives by ourselves. I speak loudly to let the whole society listen to us and join our empowerment mission.Our artists work strives to achieve the goals of equality, self-fulfillment, self-sufficiency and financial empowerment.”

She has made good use of her IT profession and harnessed the power of internet to enhance positive changes in the lives of women and make their work more appealing across the world, with the geographical locations and connections being made viable.

“I strongly believe that through proper awareness women can make a big change. They need to be encouraged to convert their skills into small earning units and become economically empowered,” she says.

“As Syrian women have become the sole breadwinners of their families. There is a strong need for women to lead and become self-sufficient. They have to learn new skills and open small workshops in the form of private businesses and can work from home,” she says. “I strongly believe that sustainable business and micro financing are necessities for women and powerful means of employment to thrive,” she says.

Samia has grown her leadership skills locally and internationally, somethingshe attributes to opportunities such as the Vital Voices Leadership Fellowship which identified her as one of the potential women leaders.

VVLead identifies, invest in and bring visibility to extraordinary women around the world by unleashing their leadership potential to transform lives and accelerate peace and prosperity in their communities.

Despite facing lots of difficulties in getting visas to travel to most of countries as Syrians, she doesn’t hold back. Instead of blaming her problems, these have challenged and strengthened her at every stage of life.

“Our Prophet Muhammad (SAW) has been the messenger of peace and my biggest role-model in life” she says.

Samia greatly gives appreciation to her father who has been very supportive to her. His encouragement has been able to motivate and push her harder, something she never regrets but appreciates.

She says the war in Syria has created so many problems for those who either choose to stay or who simply are unable to leave like her. As a result of the bombings, there are more refugees everyday as a result of homes, schools and buildings being destroyed.

Samia truly believes that today world needs more and more women in entrepreneurship for independence and self-sufficiency.

“A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman. But the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult.” – Melinda Gates

Samia is not less than that voice of a strong woman.

You can also read her profile on the World Pulse’s Leadership Group (

Comments 10

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Samia Al sayed
Apr 26, 2016
Apr 26, 2016

Thank you so much .What a nice words explaining who i am .

I appreciate your efforts

May 04, 2016
May 04, 2016

Dear Samia :

You are a brave woman &  I want to learn from you.


Soumya Vilekar
Apr 26, 2016
Apr 26, 2016

What a brave and dynamic personality Samia is ! Its truly inspiring and motivating for every woman to read and know about her constant efforts despite hurdles and crisis in life and work. Having sustained and fought against the terror and horrible consequences of war, she has been abl eto stand up and work but also unite women to work for their country using their talents.

A true leader in every sense.

Kudos to Samia and to you Aliya for presenting her before us.

Apr 27, 2016
Apr 27, 2016

Dear Samia

Your story is indeed inspiring and worth reading by all women out there. Your ability to defy all the challenges in your environment and personal is more than enough to pass  you as a true leader of courage and focus. I have also seen some of your crafts that I am sure are creative and yet beautiful and hope you can find how to market them worldwide. I wish you the best .

Ann Forsthoefel
Apr 27, 2016
Apr 27, 2016

Dear Samia,

Your courage, and tenacity are inspiring. I pray daily for you and all the people of Syria that this war will stop. Until  then I will say a prayer of peace daily for you.

My deepest admiration for all you do under the most dire circumstances.

Apr 27, 2016
Apr 27, 2016

Hello Aliya,

Thank you for sharing the stories and experiences of Samia! She is a courageous, dedicated and passionate lady, and is right to encourage more women to take part in entrepreneurship and take a stand for themselves. It's amazing and empowering to hear how far she's come despite her initial hardships. She is truly a positive role model for all individuals in the community.

With kindest regards,

Helen Ng

Apr 28, 2016
Apr 28, 2016

What a courageous leader!

Thank you Aliya for telling us about Samia.

Nice to meet you Samia:)

Apr 28, 2016
Apr 28, 2016

I had the opportunity to meet Samia-Al-Sayed in South Africa last year during VVLead Fellowship, what an amazing women, full of energy and determined against all odds. Keep up the good work.

Sally maforchi Mboumien
May 11, 2016
May 11, 2016

Thanks for sharing this story on strong determination to make a change.

“I strongly believe that through proper awareness women can make a big change. They need to be encouraged to convert their skills into small earning units and become economically empowered,” she says.

I particularly like this Samia. Awareness provokes need which then is met through hard work. If women are not aware of their rights, potentials and responsibilities then no meaningful change will be achieved.

May 17, 2016
May 17, 2016

You are an inspiration Samia :)