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Ibtissam Abda Kershayn


Ibtissam puts more than 30 years of bittersweet hopes into a canvas bag, which she carries under her arm while walking with her family to a far and remote spot.

The displacement of war in Yemen had left Ibtissam with a history of defeats as well as victories. 

Despite her difficult circumstances, Ibitssam looks on to the future. In the darkness, but with a mobile next to her, she wipes the dust of war from her hands and studies coding.

Ibtissam says: “War deprived me of school, despite my love of learning. If I saw a piece of paper thrown at the curb, I picked it up and read it searching for any new information. I could not bear any financial burdens, as we don’t have the luxury of choice between bread on the table and lessons!

I heard from one of my colleagues about the One Million Arab Coders initiative: free lessons, a community of trainers and classes at the highest international level”.

Ibtissam shows signs of burnt sun beams on her face and hands. She spends the whole day rebuilding her future and the future of every Yemeni whose opportunities are slim at best. Today, whenever she clicks on the link for the Electronic Yemeni School that she founded and reads the messages of students fleeing the weight of ignorance and the whining of war to her virtual classrooms, she becomes more insistent to be a candle for her country, no matter how dark or dim its light.