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Amani, age 10

“I love planes. Even before I had ever been on a plane, I knew I wanted to be a pilot. Flying is adventurous and exciting. When I was younger, my brother always told me that a girl can’t be a pilot, but I knew deep down this is what I wanted to do. I finished my studies and found a way  to get to flight school. Now, not only do I get to live my dream, but I also get to help people travel, to see the world, and discover new places.”

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Fatima, age 16

“I’ve always wanted to be an architect. Yet when I was young people told me that this is not something a woman could achieve, and they encouraged me to pursue a more ‘feminine’ profession. But I dreamt constantly of making beautiful homes for families, and designing buildings that bring people joy. Now that I’ve reached my vision, I hope I am a model for other girls – showing them that you should never give up on your dream – no matter what others say.”

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Wissam, age 15

“Our neighbour in Syria had a pharmacy, and when I was younger I would go next door and help. As the war started, I watched this pharmacist help the injured. When I saw this I knew that this was an important job and what I wanted to do. Now that I am a pharmacist, I see myself as a role model for girls and a leader changing the world.”

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 Fatima, age 12

“In this image, it is the early morning and I am waiting in my classroom for my students to arrive. I teach younger children to read and write Arabic. I am a very compassionate and kind person, and so a perfect teacher. I am strict, but I go out of my way to gently help those students who are having difficulties.”

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Malack, age 16

“I’ve always wanted to be a policewoman because the police not only keep people safe, but they also create justice in society. Everyday I wake up, go to the station, and then head out into the city to see where I can help. I also work to inspire other young girls to become policewomen – supporting them to dream about their future and thinking about how they will overcome obstacles.”

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Hiba, age 9

“I have always wanted to help children, and this is what drove me to be a pediatrician. I am kind and loving, and therefore an excellent doctor that children can trust.”

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Sarah, age 15

“In the future I am a famous fashion designer – creating chic clothing for women that makes them feel elegant. I design normal daywear that combines rough and soft fabrics, as well as formalwear and wedding dresses. I love fashion because it is a way for everyone to express themselves, and when it is done right – your clothing should make you feel special, beautiful and confident.”

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Bassima, age 17

“I have always found great pleasure in cooking. When I was young, I spent a lot of time in the kitchen with my mother – learning how to create difference dishes. I was really good at it. Now as a chef, I have my own restaurant where I create the menu, and a shop where I make and serve different dairy products like milk, cheeses, and yogurt.”

 

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Mona, age 10

Like her sister, Hiba, Mona also hopes to be a physician, saying about the scenario above, “In this image, I am in the future and a well-respected physician at a major hospital in Syria. I am asking my patient about her pain, and helping her get better. I feel very fortunate to be where I am today. My mother was born and raised in a village and didn’t go to school, but as a young girl I had the opportunity to learn and grow into a great doctor. People feel safe around me, they believe in me, and I use my skills and compassion to help many others.”

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Fatima, age 11

“In this image, I am examining an X-ray of a patient to see what is causing the pain in her chest. At this point in my life I am a well-respected surgeon in the region. I treat many patients, but the patient I care most about – the one that drove me to be a doctor- is my father, who has lots of medical issues. To be able to help my father, this makes me feel strong, powerful and capable.”

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Nesrine, age 11

“I saw a policewoman for the first time when I was 11- before that I hadn’t considered it as a career. At that moment of my life, I wasn’t even going to school – I just had no interest. But once I decided this was my dream, I studied hard and pursued it. Now that I am a policewoman, I help many people who are in danger or trouble, and I encourage young girls to get their education so that they can reach their goals.”

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Fatima, age 11

“I am a kind, yet serious policewoman who is respected and a role model in the community. People are not afraid of me, but call me when they are in trouble. I teach them how to respect and love one another. I fight for justice, I help the innocent.”

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Mona and Hiba proudly display photo souvenirs from their photo shoots. The IRC helped all the participants share the images with the community in the hopes of sparking conversations about planning for the future and promoting gender equality.

+ Vision Not Victim

via Buzzfeed

All images © Meredith Hutchison/International Rescue Committee