"My father passed away when I was 6 years old. We were living in a village in Andhra back then and being the oldest son, I had to give up my education in the 5th standard and start working. I used to work two jobs - one as a farmer and another in a clothing shop, but despite that money was tight -- so my uncles got my younger brothers and to Bombay, in the search of more money. As soon as I came here, I landed a job of washing cars. Today my day starts something like this - I wake up at 4:30 and wash about 30 cars in one day to earn 13,000 Rupees a month.
I was born in the Kurdish Region in Iraq. According to my mum bombs were falling on our town and it was too dangerous to drive to the hospital. My grandmother and aunts would go around the neighborhood trying to find a midwife. They ended up finding a midwife and on March 3th 1991 my mother gave birth to me in the basement of our house. Our entire family and our neighbors stayed in that same basement. The man in my family including my father had gone to fight on the frontlines. We lost so many family members in that war.
“I was born in a family of limited means. We were all sent to school, but in the 7th standard my family decided that I should drop out — and I didn’t fight it because I knew that money wasn’t coming in easy. My brothers continued to go to school and I took classes in sewing and embroidery, until the age of 14 when I got married to my husband who was only 16 back then.
All my life I have had one big dream and that is to become an engineer. My uncle used to fix communication systems such as phones and Walkie Talkies. Once he took a phone apart and gave it to me. I wanted to understand each part of the phone, I was completely fascinated. After finishing high school, I got accepted by the University of Aleppo to study Control Engineering. That was probably the happiest year of my life, Finally I was getting closer to pursue my dream to become an engineer.
"I've always wanted to be a nurse and at 19 when I cleared my SSC, I thought that I could become whatever I wanted -- but I was wrong. My parents forced me into getting married to a man who lives in a nearby village. I accepted their decision, moved away and tried my best to become a home maker. A few months into our marriage I was pregnant and at that age I was scared, but little did I know that I would have a lot more to fear. My husband, brought home another young woman, casually and began living with her without even giving me an explaination.