On the morning of 9 April, a woman named Alisa al-Dhahabi boarded a bus in the Syrian capital Damascus, heading for her new job at a health care travel agency.
She was one of several thousand Syrians who have joined al-Nusra, the Islamist group that rules parts of Syria and Iraq.
The recruitment process for women to join al-Qaida in Syria, which is run by the group’s Syrian branch, is a complex one.
The recruits are required to have military experience and a background in jihad, or fighting the government of Bashar al-Assad.
Women must also have at least one child.
Alisa, who has spent her whole life living in Damascus, was just 18 years old when she first joined al-‘Adala.
“It was a tough time for me,” she told Al Jazeera.
“I knew I was a bad person for joining al-Adala.”
When she returned to Syria, the government began cracking down on women.
She faced harassment, violence and discrimination.
In late 2013, she and her family fled to Turkey, where she said she was offered work as a domestic help.
She did not want to leave her family, and she did not have the money to pay for her family to leave the country.
“At that time, I was very happy with the way things were in my family.
I felt like I was in a safe place,” she said.
“But after that, things started to change.
The war started, and then the fighting between al-Nusrah Front and al-Zinki.
I was left behind.
I saw a lot of fighting and I saw the destruction of the city.”
A Syrian refugee girl with a photo of her mother at the entrance to a camp for internally displaced persons in Mafraq, Jordan, on September 26, 2018.
In early 2014, al-Ghazaleh al-Razi, a local reporter, published a video showing al-Da’ari, who was working at a food distribution agency in Damascus at the time, pleading with al-Shamir to protect her and her children.
Al-Shamim, the leader of the al-Qa’ida-affiliated Nusra Front, said al-Diabi’s story was “very good for us” and asked for her to join his faction.
Al Jazeera was unable to reach al- Da’ari for comment.
After Alisa and her brother were recruited to join the Nusra front, the Syrian army launched a military campaign in September 2014 to take back parts of the country that it had lost in the war.
The government began closing schools, closing down factories and restricting people’s movements, forcing thousands of women and girls to travel to Turkey to live in refugee camps.
Aliya, a Syrian-Jordanian woman who has lived in Syria for more than two decades, described the experience in a video interview with Al Jazeera: There are many reasons why women flee.
Sometimes, they can’t find a job.
Sometimes they are raped.
Sometimes their husbands refuse to work.
Sometimes the situation is very difficult for them to leave, even when they are able to.
There are times when they have to take children with them because they are afraid of them.
For me, this is the biggest reason: the oppression.
Alija, a single mother of three, has spent most of her adult life living under the government’s rule.
Her family has struggled to pay the bills, she said, adding that her eldest daughter, 17, was born without a mother.
“When my mother dies, I will always have to find money to feed her,” she added.
“If the government is able to force us to pay taxes, then it is possible to pay them back.
But the government does not know how to pay back taxes.
If they can only pay back a small percentage of the taxes, it is very hard for the Syrian people.”
A mother of two in a refugee camp in Moutraq, Syria.
Alijah al-Saleh, an activist with Syrian Human Rights, said women often leave for Syria to escape their oppression and oppression.
“The women in Syria are being forced to leave their homes and families, because the government has imposed a harsh regime on the country,” he said.
Alifa, a 30-year-old who has been living in Syria since 2012, was also a refugee.
She fled her home in Idlib province in 2012 to escape the fighting and poverty, and joined al’-Nusra Front, a group that has been affiliated with al Qaeda since 2013.
She told Al- Jazeera she was scared to leave home: “I felt that I was going to die, and I didn’t know how I would get to the exit.
I didn and it was very hard.”
Aliya has no children, and has no savings.
“My life is very complicated and it is difficult for me to pay my