Syrian refugee turned entrepreneur thanks to ICMC’s beauty course in Jordan

Mafraq, 5 July 2017 - Perched among her combs, brushes, and scissors, Batoul* is surrounded by the evidence of her well-earned success. Amongst the many products, one would be forgiven for thinking this scene was not different from any other hair salon in the world.

Batoul shows beauty products she uses in her daily practice.Batoul offers most beauty services from the comfort of her own home, creating a comfortable environment for her clients. Photo: ICMC/ N. Banks The difference, however, is that Batoul escaped from her home in Homs.  Ambitious from a young age, she used to study at the university in Syria and dreamed of becoming a lawyer. Unfortunately, her schooling was put on hold due to the war. Arriving in Jordan with her mother and sister, Batoul refocused her energy on studying and practicing beauty techniques.

“Hair care and beauty has always been a hobby,” she reflects. “I always wanted to get better at it.”

When she learned about the beauty course at ICMC, Batoul jumped at the chance. A 150-hour course enabled Batoul to grasp the basics of hair care, from coloring to cutting, as well as eyebrow and facial threading. Enthused by the positive outcome, she realized there was a gap in the market for a new beauty space in town.

Using a cash injection of personal funds, Batoul invested in all the necessary equipment and began spreading the message of her new business through word of mouth. She shares excitedly:

“I have done a few weddings now; the word is spreading around the neighborhood and women are approaching me.”

She likes to let the quality of her work speak for itself, as she proudly shows off photographs of past clients. The recently learned hair conditioning technique, Batoul says excitedly, is “really expensive, about 100JD’s (140 USD) in the salons!”

Batoul offers most beauty services from the comfort of her own home, creating a comfortable environment for her clients.

“Women in Mafraq, particularly Syrians, don’t always want to go to a salon,” she notes. “They don’t always want to take off their hijab in public. If they come to my home, they don’t have to”.Batoul prepares one of her clients for a wedding.Batoul likes to let the quality of her work speak for itself, as she proudly shows off photographs of past clients. Photo: ICMC/ N. Banks

Batoul is using her income to help support her mother who is receiving medical treatment. Her mother is very proud and impressed by her achievements. Now her business is growing but there is still no rest for Batoul, who is very keen to broaden her skills and take more courses. She has hopes of opening a salon for advanced beauty treatments, and perhaps even more admirably, of setting up a training center to share her success and give others the same opportunity she had.

While the displacement from her home poses a unique set of challenges for her family, Batoul has shown open-mindedness in her approach to her new life.

“ICMC’s beauty course has been great, for both the community and myself,” she concluded. “I’d love to open a training center so that I can use my skills to help other women become independent”.

This beauty parlor holds a unique personal story of perseverance and independence. Batoul’s story is one of inspiration and entrepreneurial success.

*All names have been changed to protect the identity of the person.