Since the start of the Syrian conflict, the country’s GDP has plummeted from $60.2 billion in 2010 to around $21.5 billion in 2020, unemployment has surged to 50 percent and the average price of essential items has increased by 245 percent, making it extremely challenging for individuals like Maisaa to start or sustain their own businesses.
In the context of these severe economic conditions, AKF's programme aims to empower Syrian entrepreneurs by providing grants, training, and financial and technical consultations. An added complication is ensuring that all of these activities are compliant with international sanctions on Syria, which prohibit transactions with listed individuals and require assistance to be narrowly targeted on humanitarian coping mechanisms. To date, the initiative has supported over 900 individuals, contributing to the resilience of local economies under a lingering humanitarian catastrophe and fostering hope in a region that has faced unimaginable challenges.
Maisaa's story is a beacon of inspiration and a testament to the power of resilience. As she continues to weave her magic in the world of fashion, Maisaa has become a living example of the indomitable human spirit, proving what can be possible with determination, passion and a little bit of hope.