“Woman must discover the power within themselves”, says Fatma Abdelbadie, who works as a cultural mediator at Thessaloniki Solidarity Center. 61-year-old Fatma, is from Cairo and has been in Greece since 1983. She has been working with SolidarityNow for the past 2.5 years.
Fatma grew up in a closed society and only when she came to Greece, she began to discover her abilities. “I slowly discovered the strength I had within me. I was in a foreign country, with 3 children, one of them deaf. What I had to do was to stand up on my feet and say to myself: move on!”. And she stood up on her feet, she registered her son to a deaf school to “break his silence”, she learned the sign language, she found a job as a babysitter and raised not only her own children but also other’s children, which she considers as her own.
In the past she was volunteering for KETHEA by taking care of the women’s children who were in detoxification. Moreover, at the beginning of the refugee crisis, she was at Eidomeni, where she was helping as an interpreter. Life brought her to SolidarityNow. By chance, instead of pressing the elevator button that would lead her to the 6th floor, she found herself at the organization’s offices, where she was offered a job. And this way Fatma started working as an interpreter during therapy sessions for LGBTI and women refugees.
“I get emotional with my job. Women from Arab countries have an eager to express themselves; and by translating for them, I feel that I am helping them.
I identify myself with these women. I see how I was and where I am now.
So, I feel the need to help them even more“.