‘Women should believe in their ability and strength’

“Women should believe in their ability and strength. They should strive for whatever they want to be in the future,” said Rana Al-Kasmo, who studied law despite her disease that affects her mobility.


Manbij- Rana Al-Kasmo from Manbij began to study law at university in 2011. However, ISIS took control of the city in 2013 and did not allow women to study. “ISIS killed many lawyers and the situation in the city was deteriorating. The situation of women worsened,” she said.

‘I could not move for three years’

In 2014, Rana Al-Kasmo was diagnosed with tuberculous lymphadenitis when Manbij was still controlled by ISIS. During that time, she went to Turkey with her family and then returned to Syria, Aleppo, in 2015. “My health condition was deteriorating due to the medications I was given. The wrong medications caused the nerves of the lower limbs to weaken. I could not move and spent three years in bed. My sister supported me to complete my education.”

She got a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education

When Rana Al-Kasmo tried to complete her education at the Faculty of Law, she was told that she could continue her education in another department because she had not attended the faculty for a long time. “I was told that I could get a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education at a university in Latakia. My sister came to the university with me every day. Since I could not walk, she carried me for a year until I graduated from the university.”

She studies law again

While going to university, Rana Al-Kasmo received treatment and got well. “I began to study law again despite all obstacles. Because I dreamed of being a lawyer. I will struggle until I graduate from the Faculty of Law. I have one more year to graduate from the faculty. Now, I am almost 40 years old but I continue to study.”

‘Families should support their daughters’

Rana Al-Kasmo emphasized that women should believe in their ability and strength. “They should strive for whatever they want to be in the future. My family and sister support me to realize my dream. Families should support their daughters to realize their dreams.”