Chirin Dirani - Center for Contemporary Arab Studies | Georgetown University
Photo of Chirin Derani

Hometown: Damascus, Syria

Research Interests: women’s economic survival during and after times of crises

Chirin is a Syrian development practitioner with over fifteen years of field experience. She was raised in the heart of Damascus, right next to Umayyad Mosque. Chirin learned from the merchants of the Silk Bazaar how to negotiate for results, and how to build bridges of trust for mutual benefit. Damascus taught her how business can be an act of art. Chirin graduated from Damascus University with a B.A. in Political Economy. Before arriving to the U.S in 2015, she worked as a Field Manager in Jordan at NICCOD. Her main role was focused on supporting the economic empowerment of Syrian female refugees and women from host community. The participating women were encouraged to launch and grow their own businesses. The profits of this project helped mothers send their children to school and paid for their health expenses. In Syria, Chirin used her business experience to help young female entrepreneurs establish their small businesses. Her business network joined hundreds of Arab businesswomen who mentored and supported each other’s work. In 2012, she was granted the World of Difference Award by the International Alliance for Women.