Lamia Al Sulaiman – Director of Khatawat, Syria

On leadership:

“What makes a leader a good leader is a set of qualities, the first and most important of which is organization. Chaos is the first enemy that any successful person should fear. A good leader must also have the ability to influence and challenge others in addition self-confidence.

As for good leadership, it is the leadership in which the professional and the humane are balanced, so that one is not superior to the other.”

On achievements:

“Working in the non-profit field since 2011, I can say without hesitation that my work on establishing educational centers and groups in Deir Ezzor between 2014 and 2016 is the work I am most proud of. I had a wonderful team at the time, and we were able to continue to educate in Deir Ezzor despite all the brutal measures that ISIS was carrying out to suppress all the sounds of life.”

On challenges:

“Personally, and during my work in the non-profit field, I did not face challenges related to being a woman, perhaps in other fields and in other circumstances, this may differ.

But through my own experience, I found that the biggest challenge facing women in the environment which I worked was the woman’s view of herself and lack of awareness of her rights and capabilities. In many situations, I saw women voluntarily withdrawing and taking a secondary role without being forced to do so.”

Advice for female leaders:

“There is a provocative saying that says, ’There is no enemy to women more than women.’ I advise every woman in a leadership position to think about this phrase carefully and work to prove it wrong by being fair to women around her and to enhance their chances of progression through support and motivation.”