Laila Ajjawi is determined to make positive change within her impoverished community.
As a woman who lives in an impoverished and overcrowded Palestinian refugee camp, Laila was born on one of the lowest rungs in Jordanian society, her fate almost sealed at birth. Her educational training and art, however, has opened doors and created opportunities for her beyond the camp that she did not realize existed. She uses her public art to question the assumptions her culture makes about women, who are taught to be subservient in a male-dominated society, and of Palestinian refugees, who face ongoing discrimination. Through her murals and activism, she hopes to show other refugees, young women, and girls that they too can take control of their destinies.
“My future doesn’t look easy,” Laila said, but said that living a “normal” or traditional life is even less appealing than whatever challenges lie in her path. The young woman from the tiny Irbid camp aspires to take on the media through her art. “The media is trying to provoke an idea about girls, that girls cannot take control of her life,” she said. “I’m going to become a part of the media that affects people.” -Laila Ajjawi
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