Q&A with Rasha Rajab

Updated: March 2018
A group of youth draw a chart together

Rasha Rajab, a young Syrian with a disability living in Turkey is a member of an advocacy group and is currently studying business in Gaziantep. A brief Q&A, which has been lightly edited for clarity, is available below. 


As a member of a volunteer advocacy group, what can you tell us about your experiences and how you are engaging in political life in Turkey?


My experience with the volunteer team is very rich in the knowledge of the international agreements and conventions that were almost absent from us as Syrian citizens. We learn how to work on them and the basic steps in political participation in the new Syrian government, by communicating with the Syrian interim government and the coalition.


Through your experiences, what are the biggest challenges and barriers to gaining access to political participation for people with disabilities?  


The greatest challenge is the lack of awareness and confidence in the community and abilities of people [with disabilities] where some believe that they are dependent on society and no more and that even the owners of motor disabilities are mentally ill for normal life. 


What types of opportunities have you experienced through your political participation? How have these opportunities changed or affected you?


The opportunities that have ensured our political participation are the International Convention on Persons with Disabilities signed by Syria and the presence of examples of the participation of people with special political needs in foreign countries around the world, giving greater motivation and motivation to defend and exercise our rights.


What advice would you provide to young leaders with disabilities who wish to participate more fully in political life?


My advice is to be well informed of the laws and conventions that determine what their rights are and to trust their abilities and belief that they are an effective part of society.