Lara Shaheen started the Syrian Jasmine House as a way to create jobs for Syrian women while introducing Jordan to traditional Syrian products. The company was named in honor of her hometown Damascus, which is often referred to as, “the capital of Jasmine.” Lara started the center with 5 women and raw materials. They had a small 50-meter office that housed the materials but Lara ensured that the women could work from home to reduce transportation fees and give them the space to care for their families. Once she put the business on facebook their work received a lot of attention. Women started coming to them with their skills in hope of employment. In a bigger and newly remodeled center Lara now employs 10 women full time at her office and buys merchandise from 70 other women. She is working towards a target of 200 women by the end of 2018. Lara said, “We changed the language, we were no longer waiting for funds and help, we took control of our own fate.”
The women make a range of Syrian products including handicrafts, soap, food and candles. The products bring a taste of Syrian culture to Jordan. When you’re done with your experience take a moment to see the Syrian products for sale.
Aleppo Soap Making: Come to the Syrian Jasmine House to learn the centuries old process of making soap from Aleppo. Mix the Ghar leaves with carbonates. Boil the Shea, Coconut, and Olive Oil. Mix all and stir. Pour in a mold. Enjoy the aromas and textures of all the ingredients. Sip on some coffee or tea while you wait for your soap to be ready.
Crochet Class: Learn the fundamentals of making Crochet. It's a centuries-old process of creating fabric by interlocking loops of yarn, thread, or strands of other materials using a crochet hook. Take away what you made back home.
Whether you’re looking for history,
Many women that came from Syria are widowed or had to leave their husbands behind. They arrived in Jordan as the sole breadwinners for their families. Only 7% of Syrian women in Jordan are employed. Syrian Jasmine House seeks to address that by providing jobs and income. They employ 70 women- the majority are Syrian but group also includes Iraqi, Palestinian, and Iraqi. They have a goal of increasing the women they work with to 200 in 2018. They have trained more than 1000 women on the art of handicrafts. The company received a donation to fund the trainings however they do not depend on donations; they are a business at the end of the day.
Lara Shaheen’s life was turned upside down twice by the Arab Spring. Lara’s family was forced to flee Damascus amidst the Syrian civil war’s initial stages when three. Eventually ending up Egypt, the country’s 2013 coup d'etat and the chaos that followed, forced Lara to pack up once again and start over. The Himsi family settled in Jordan. As a refugee, work permits are unattainable, but Lara’s family needed money to survive. Lara took some of their savings, rented a small office in Jordan’s capital, Amman. Lara decided to name her enterprise the Jasmine center, a reference her hometown, Damascus, nicknamed the capital of Jasmine. That was in 2014. Since then Lara’s business has grown from a small to operation of five to an operation that employs 70 women who brought their soap-craft with them from Syria. Now these 70 women are bringing in a profit and supporting their families. They’ve expanded to the point where they are now a part of Airbnb and showing tourists a taste of Syria in Jordan.
Follow Your Bible Map To Jordan
The Bible Trail
Discover more about the toots of your faith in Jordan by clicking on the holy sites along our Bible Trail interactive map.
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|The Jordan Trail|