Enaya Odeh, from Haifa's Kababir neighborhood, is a proud wife and mother of three daughters. For 20 years, Enaya has been part of numerous projects in her community. She feels that the most important one is to provide job training and interview preparation to the women in her neighborhood. Women, she says, need to be empowered first of all, but they also need job training so that they can be able to find work that they enjoy.
Recently, Enaya participated in Kayan's leadership course, "Women's Activism for Social Change," which she says "gave me the equipment" to help women in Kababir. Enaya hopes to start an empowerment group in Kababir, as she hopes Kayan can help to "make a change here." This is the first time that any NGO has worked in the Kababir, a community with very conservative gender structures.
Most of Kababir's residents belong to the Ahmadiyya sect of Islam. Religion has a major influence on community life in Kababir. Many social activities are initiated by or somehow involve the local mosque. The religious community center is also where Enaya has been volunteering with women's groups since the beginning of her interest in this work. Enaya says that her community is supportive, and that her belief and participation in the Ahmadiyya community is a source of help for her and her family.
Khulud, Enaya's oldest daughter who plans to study architecture, tells me that she always looked up to her mother and that she is her model. Enaya, when asked what she hopes her daughters will be like when they grow up, says she hopes that they are "independent, are able to find jobs, and volunteer like I do."
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