50-year-old Aliye Musa is a victim of child marriage. She was subjected to violence by her husband for years but she has started her own farm to end violence. Aliye has planted hundreds of trees and fed animals on her farm. She has also employed many people. “I can tell all women what they should do to stand on their own feet,” Aliye said.
The life of Aliye Musa, who was born in the Selemiye town of Syria’s Homs city, was completely changed after being forced into marriage by her family when she was 15 years old. After her marriage, she began to face violence from her husband but she managed to escape her marriage. Aliye Musa left her husband and started her own farm in Qamishlo city of NE Syria.
“I don’t like being controlled”
Before being forced into child marriage, Aliye liked reading books and writing. “I love nature because I grew up in the countryside of Homs and I am the daughter of nature. I don’t like being controlled by anyone. I no longer limit myself to reactionary social customs and traditions. I studied women’s history, gender, commune life, and cooperative works. I spent many years improving and liberate myself. Like many women, I like reading books to improve and liberate myself. I have found my existence and freedom in the books.”
“I started my own farm after working for seven years”
Aliye worked for a Lebanese agricultural company called, “Frigi” for seven years and she gained experiences. She left working for the company a year and a half ago, “I created my own project after gaining the experiences. I worked with one of my relatives for a year. We planted 25 citrus trees, 400 cypress trees, 100 fruit trees, 200 raisin trees, and 400 pistachio trees. We also planted hazel trees, medicinal herbs such as sage, wild peppermint, thyme, and rosemary.”
“I believe in soil fertility”
Aliye talked about the purpose of her project and said, “I wanted to provide self-sufficiency and to achieve this, all families should work in agriculture to have vegetables and fruits. I believe in soil fertility when we need it.” Aliye told us that they should do many things together, adding, “For instance, you have to think about next year while harvesting the crops. These days are the best days for the preservation and storage of pepper, tomato, zucchini, eggplant, and sunflower seeds.”
“I am happy to provide employment opportunity”
Aliye also feeds animals on her farm, “I have never sold the animal products. I give them to the families working on the farm. My goal is to ensure self-sufficiency for the families. We have 100 chickens; we never cut them but feed them for the families. We also have 50 cows and sheep for their milk. We become professional at making cheese, butter, and yogurt while working on the farm. I am happy to live, produce and provide employment opportunities by protecting nature.”
She notes every detail
Aliye gets tired but she feels good when she works on the farm. “I wake up early in the morning. After controlling everything on the farm, I start working. Sometimes, I don’t know how the day ends. I note every detail. I keep a journal about the works on the farm. Those who want to start a farm can use this journal. We use only natural pesticides. I note how to apply natural pesticides in my journal. For Instance, our cows began to blow up at the beginning of spring, we gave them boiled cumin and olive oil and they recovered.” Aliye notes all-natural recipes in her journal.
Call from Aliye to all women wanting to start a farm
Aliye has recently worked on beekeeping to produce sugar-free honey in her farm. “In nature, I feel freer than I feel nowhere [else],” said Aliye while calling on women, “I will be pleased to share experiences with all women who want to stand on their own feet.”