The First Women’s Co-op in Manbij: The House of Delight

Beit Al Barakah / House of Delight

The first women’s co-operative in Manbij, the Beit Al Barakah, or “House of Delight”, is a workers’ co-op. It was established in September 2017 with the support of the People’s Municipality of Manbij and the Economic Committee. The co-op, which includes ten workers who joined as members by buying 16 shares, aims to get women

This is a translation of an Arabic article that first appeared on Hawar News on 8 September 2017

The Women’s Committee in Manbij formed a co-operative for women on 6 September in co-ordination with the Economic Committee. It included a number of women who will make winter foods and distribute them to the markets. The co-operative includes 10 workers who joined as members by buying 16 shares.

The co-operative will aim to support the women’s economy which creates a foundation for getting women out of exploitation and repression. The co-operative will be called Beit Al-Barakah which means The House of Delight.

Women will participate by buying shares, and each share costs 20,000 SYP [Syrian Pounds]. A woman can participate with 3 shares maximum.

The co-operative will buy the vegetables and raw materials to make winter foods with the money collected by buying shares.

Sarah Ibrahim, a supervisor in the co-operative, said, “Ten women are working in the co-operative, and they are aware of hygiene and very professional. They start work at 9:00 am and finish at 3:00 pm.”

Sarah said that they started making Mulukhiyah, which they bought with the money collected from shares, and when asked about how they work, she replied, “They start by cutting the leaves and then they spread them in a room until they completely dry, and in the end they fill them in special bags to be preserved for winter.”

The project will provide these jobs for the women in the summer and in the winter.

The women haven’t started selling their products yet, but they’re planning to sell them to the markets in Manbij, to achieve self-sufficiency and self-reliance, and to satisfy their own needs.