DERIK, Syria (North Press) – After decades of banning women from running their own businesses, a factory run by all-female staff opened in Syria’s Kurdish majority northeastern town of Derik amid devastating conflict, staff of the factory said on Thursday.
Dalia Shebliy, a roughly 30-year-old Syrian woman who decided to open a restaurant with all-female staff in the city of Derik in northeastern Syria, told North Press about her experience.
“My project is distinguished with its female cadres, cooking is my hobby and I am very professional in preparing meals from several cultures of the region,” she said.
Shebliy started as a cook at an institution in the Autonomous Administration in the country’s north, then she decided to improve her experience by running her own business.
"I always wanted to have my own restaurant, I wanted to practice it independently and be the owner of my business rather than work for others."
Seven women work in the restaurant, sharing work on two shifts, morning and evening, and they offer popular foods such as grilled meat, pies, and fast food like pizza.
Shebliy says that they adhere to the hygiene rules. They wear gloves and masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus and any other diseases, as most of their work depends on delivery orders.
At home, she said her husband is of a good help for her in raising up their children. “We both have our own businesses, he supports me all the time , he even participates in house work and taking care of our children,” she added.
Shaha Ahmed, 40, a worker in the restaurant, said she was happy to work in the restaurant with a group of women, and that she decided to work there to support her four children after the death of her husband.
Mohamed Abdel Hanan, a dealer in Dirk, said, “I love to have lunch at Aria Stark Restaurant, because all staff are women who are professional cooks.”
“I encourage such projects run by women,” he said.
Several projects run by women have opened in Derik town in the past few years.
In 2017, Four Syrian Kurdish sisters from the town of Kobani established a successful bakery in the town of Derik, overcoming gender stereotypes.
In 2018, a female civil society group in the Kurdish self-administration area of northern Syria (Rojava) opened a popular market for women to sell their crafts in the city of Derik.
(Reporting by Solnar Mohamed; Editing by Hisham Arafat)