Her nephew, Hayderah Zidan, 11, who has lived without reliable power for his entire life, is happy seeing the recent changes in Khirais.
"The biggest difference is that we can use the light to study," said the sixth grader, who now helps his family farm when he returns from school and begins studying after the sun has set.
He also shared another perk: "I can also watch TV whenever I want, and not just when we have electricity!"
Expanding solar access for communities in Syria
Solar energy is vital in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which helps mitigate climate change. When communities have access to this clean energy, as they now do in Khirais, it increases their climate resilience, enabling them to better prepare for, recover from, and adapt to climate change.
Since 2021, the Aga Khan Foundation in Syria has supported over 3,400 households to access solar-powered water pumps. These pumps, which replace diesel generators, are used for irrigation. When farmers can irrigate their land sustainably, their families benefit through improved food security and economic livelihoods.
In addition to improving the quality of life in Khirais, solar energy has also eliminated the need for residents to use kerosene, commonly used as a light source in the evenings. Kerosene, a fossil fuel, creates carbon emissions and can cause health problems such as asthma, heart disease, strokes, lung disease and lung cancer.
Community initiatives like Khirais' solar panel tap into Syria’s high potential for solar energy, enabling people to shift away from fossil fuels, which will reduce emissions, provide decentralised energy, reduce air pollution and enable vulnerable communities to deploy cost-effective energy solutions.
"[Solar energy in Khirais] is a success in terms of covering the whole village," said Azizmamadov. "Every household in the village, including public spaces, has electricity for 24 hours and the community is managing the system quite well."