Marah is a powerhouse within Za’atari Refugee Camp.
The 18-year-old is married with a child but, unlike most Syrian women in her position, she is learning new languages, taking photography classes and is a huge advocate for educating girls.
But she wasn’t always like this.
When she was living in Syria, she had to drop out of school because it was too dangerous. Her family then moved to Jordan in 2013.
“When we came here, life was difficult,” she tells me as we are walking on a muddy road, toward the caravan she now calls home. She explains for the first six months of living at the camp, she felt like a “stranger” and barely went outside.
Even though many Syrians have fled from the country and escaped the war, they are still suffering from daily stressors of being displaced.
Marah tells me that being able to go to school is what kept her going each day. “When I started going to school, and met some other girls, my life started improving.”
Marah was lucky. In times of crisis girls are 2.5 times more likely to be out of school than boys. And when girls are out of school, they are more vulnerable to violence, discrimination and exploitation.
Her favourite classes were English and photography. “I started gaining more confidence,” she says, which encouraged her to meet more people within the camp.
One of them, being her, now, husband.
Marah proudly tells me that she loved him “first” and pursued him. After they were married, she was worried that he would not support her in continuing her education. But, she explains, as soon as he saw her accomplishments, he insisted that she followed her passion.
She adds that this type of support is rare in the camp, which is why she feels the need to advocate for girls who may doubt themselves.
“I want to tell every girl from the Arab world, not to stop her dreams even if she is married, to work towards making her dream come true regardless of the obstacles.”