Have You Heard About Such Things?

Marwan Ahmed – Yalla – Baghdad

This is the project of a young Iraqi girl called Zina, she believed that working in the public sector wasn’t for her, its daily routine disinterested her, and it didn’t her achieve her objectives. As a result, she resigned and started a small project making unique and beneficial soap. The project was a great success and her products recorded great sales figures under trading name Ashtar on Facebook and in other markets where it was presented for sale.


Zina explained how she started the project and made it successful in the related field of business.

“I used to work in a government office but I felt life was more important and bigger than spending my entire life sitting behind a desk doing a job I didn’t enjoy. I felt I could achieve more and I could make my life more interesting,” she said. “I tried to look for an opportunity with an international organization until I found a specific program specialized in improving the skills of young people and developing their small projects. This was an initial factor in the success of my project “Ashtar Soap” which was so popular that if a person bought it once, they would return a second and a third time to purchase the product.”


We asked Zina about her vision for the future of the project and whether she is still pursuing the main objective of her work.

“In the beginning my main aim was to find job opportunities for unemployed women in Baghdad and other provinces, I believed through such projects we can reduce unemployment in the country and make new Iraqi made products that might one day become products marketed internationally,” She replied.


“Ashtar Soap project is still small as it was started less than a year ago, the staff members of this project face many difficulties especially financially but their passion for the project gives them motivation so they don’t give up and they confront issues.


Although many entrepreneurs have asked to become business partners in the project, Zina has rejected this.


We asked Zina, the founder of the project about her passion and motivation to make the project a success.


“My love for my job is the reason for my success, I put my passion and energy in every piece of soap made by us,” she replied.

“Although hundreds of people ask to become investors in the business and provide financial support, I rejected this idea because I will be restricted in implementing my ideas which will reduce my love for my work, for me it’s very important to be free in my work.


“Just because I want the project to continue, I wouldn’t accept someone else to come into the project and attempt to control the staff and the direction in which the project heads.”


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