How the journey of a little girl from a small Jordanian town with little opportunities, led her to BESTMEDGRAPE project
As the world celebrates "Women International Day", we would like to shed a light on the journey of a team member, a Jordanian scientist, mother, and wife.
It is well known that women in the world, through history, have had always to fight for equality, for their right to vote, to get paid equally, to occupy positions that were allowed only for men... They won some fights while others are still going on. And in some developing countries, unfortunately, women are still fighting for their basic rights like Education, safety against domestic violence and rape, and even for their free will of choosing who to marry and when!
Here is the story of Sabah M. Saifan, Ph.D., Associate professor at the Al Ahliyya Amman University, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. She is the local coordinator of BESTMEDGRAPE in Jordan, an Administrative board member at the Jordan Society for Scientific Research, Entrepreneurship and Creativity (JSSREC), partner of BESTMEDGRAPE.
How was it to grow up in a patriarchal society?
A girl between brothers, in a patriarchal society, her journey wasn't smooth and easy. But as she says, she was lucky to be surrounded by men who played an important role in her life. Born and raised in a small town, where most of the girls didn't get to finish their education, Sabah’s' father, who is a teacher himself, pushed her to get a higher education. But although he appreciated support, he couldn't get over the traditions, and when the opportunity came to Sabah to study what she wants (she wanted to be a physician), her father didn't agree because she had to leave the country and this was out of the question at the time. So, the young ambitious girl headed to agriculture science. While following her studies at the university, she found her partner and at a very young age, she got married. On her graduation, she was already a mother to a boy.
Family duties took her away from continuing her higher education. She left the university and became a full-time mother and wife. Here, a lot of stories in this part of the world end, but luckily not for Sabah, as her husband saw her potential and encourage her to pursue her education and get a job and so she did. She completed her master's degree and found a field job, which gave her a great experience.
Motherhood vs. Profession
While working on her Ph.D. project, Sabah had already a second child, a little boy. Her husband had to leave the country to find a new job away from home while her elder boy was already an adolescent who needs his mother's care, advice, and presence. And with no one to help, this stage was so hard for Sabah, a lot of tears was shed, as she recalls. But nothing is impossible for a hard-working woman, so she managed to take care of everything, she got her Ph.D. and taught her children some life lessons about responsibility.
Partnering with BESTMEDGRAPE
In her expression, BESTMEDGRAPE project was like a gift to Sabah, the project was among the best things that happened to her after a long journey of hard work. After 2 years from the meeting with Gianluigi Bacchetta in Kuwait (the coordinator of BESTMEDGRAPE, from the University of Cagliari), he asked her to participate in the project, and since she started working on the project till present, every day is a day to learn something new for Sabah.
A final word to all the women in the world
A day should be celebrated for humanity, for all human beings, and not only for women, Sabah states. Women are not weak, they only have to fight as hard as they can, to be confident and believe in themselves. They do not have to take for granted what society tells them, they need to face the challenges to achieve success, to embrace their free will to choose what they want.
Women are the joy of life, as Sabah says so happy women's day.