I joined the humanitarian field because I have always been passionate about helping others.
My duties involve managing enhancement partnership tools with relative stakeholders. My day usually starts at 9am. The first thing I do is make sure urgent meetings and arrangements are managed, and visits for the embassies and detention centers are planned and under process. For the greater part of my day, I approach targeted groups to get to know more about their requirements from the organization, as well as assist other teams if I get the chance. Every day has its own story and I find myself in unplanned situations due to the nature of being a field and office worker.
One of my duties as VHR Operations Officer is to assist and escort the migrants who are interested in returning back to their countries. I’ll never forget one particular mission. It was in the middle of the Mitiga International Airport closure crisis, (the period where it was risky for a woman to conduct any field activity), and the operation unit was operating from Alzintan airport, 182 kilometers out of Tripoli. Four psychiatric cases and twenty other urban setting cases were late the day before the flight and couldn’t catch the buses to travel to Zintan. My colleagues and I planned their movement for the next day and I took the responsibility to go with them alone to Zintan for the charter which was almost 6 hours late on the departure day. Riding with them and taking care of them made me feel like I was adding comfort and trust to people who maybe lost hope and trust in Libya.
I felt so attached that I forgot that I might face danger on my way. I have known some of them since 2016 from my previous job and it made them feel comfortable around me, which pushed me to protect them even more because I didn’t think I would meet them again in such circumstances.
Being in charge of a such movement in a risky country isn’t easy at all. Seeing their tears of happiness after arriving in Addis Ababa and handing them over to the receiving mission made me feel super satisfied, proud and over the moon. It made me realize I would do anything to be there for anyone in need of help.
Being a female employee in an international organization is challenging because it’s a male-dominated workspace. However, that is set to change with time providing that people understand necessity for gender equality. With more education and cultural wisdom, the mentality will shift, and the male-dominated society will leave space for women to achieve their goals in every possible field. I guess when equality is achieved, Libya will move forward.
I am grateful for the support and encouraging advice from Hajar Shihoub, our HR & Account Manager. Seeing her taking on such a huge amount of work and dealing with different categories reminds me that females are capable of rocking difficult positions.