The eldest of eight children, Fadia was widowed with two children of her own at eighteen, just after her parents and siblings had emigrated to Denmark. Multiple unsuccessful applications to join them followed. Despite her disappointment at being the only member of her family left behind, Fadia kept herself busy raising the children and setting up the first kindergarten inside the camp. She has been head teacher of Al Qassam Kindergarten for over three decades now and her teachings and belief in an egalitarian society, based on learning, kindness and mutual respect, soon help waves of different immigrant and refugee children to assimilate.
Fadia’s tenacity to develop the school as a community centre for the good of all in the camp has been honoured with awards from local and international organisations and as an outspoken activist she often speaks to local and international media about the ongoing problems in the camp. Her determination to improve the conditions of all those around her is underpinned by her resolute commitment to the importance of education. Her tireless fundraising for the school has allowed her to create a public library and adult learning centre and a garden with fruit trees and other plants, strongly believing that an experience of and respect for nature is a crucial part of a child’s development.
More recently, Fadia’s darkly comic plays about life in the camp have been taken to the stage by The Women of the Camp theatre company, a group she founded with a like-minded women. As well as performing locally, last year they toured around Denmark to much acclaim. Fadia’s short stories have recently been published in Lebanon in an anthology of female writers.