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Des Femmes newsletter - Issue #19

Des Femmes newsletter
Des Femmes newsletter
Hello and welcome to the Des Femmes newsletter! 👋

We’ll be gearing up for the second print production season soon, which (as you can likely tell from the gap since our last edition) means less frequent newsletter updates as we focus on gathering magazine content. 
If your company is interested in buying a print ad in our second magazine, please reach out via Part of our advertising philosophy is that we foster deeper connections between our community and our sponsors than traditional media companies do. That’s why we also offer strategic mentorship matchmaking, startup referrals (from the pool of badass women entrepreneurs in our community) to investment groups and recruiting help for companies that want to hire more crypto-savvy feminists (of all genders). If you’re looking to hire from an amazing, untapped talent pool, reach out to us! 
Big shoutout to our first advertiser, @Visa, which also sponsored a mentorship program for dozens of bitcoin-curious women in our community. Thanks for being a part of this first print magazine! 🤓💪
In the meantime, this month we’re highlighting a woman we admire, Shavin Mahmoud. She’s a 35-year-old electrical engineer living in a Kurdish region of Syria. She’s a bitcoin fan, although not a user (yet), because she’s been a little busy fighting terrorists while helping local villages regain basic internet services and clean water. She offers a great example of how financial freedom and wealth have different meanings in a variety of contexts. Financial independence is not inherently about slinging coins or running nodes. It’s always about choice and blazing our own paths.   
Shavin Mahmoud
Shavin Mahmoud
Back in 2013, when war broke out, Mahmoud’s employer, a government-funded telecommunications company, promptly fired her when she declined to join the ruling regime’s resistance efforts in Aleppo. No matter, she stayed at home and started helping protect telecommunications resources there. In 2014, Kurdish community organizations formed a self-governing body called the Kobani Canton, which appointed Mahmoud as head of the Communications Authority. But there was no time to celebrate her new leadership position, as the war took a turn for the worse. 
“ISIS had taken control of most of the major cities in northern Syria,” Mahmoud said, adding that she helped her family flee across the Turkish border before returning to the front lines. “​​I returned to Kobani with my friend Alia Sidi, who was the head of the Finance Authority…We were unable to do anything but psychologically help the families who did not leave Kobani and meet their basic needs such as clothes, food, etc.”
Mahmoud and Sidi taught children Kurdish language lessons in underground bunkers, to try to keep them from wandering onto the battlefield and getting caught in the crossfire. She also helped collect and sanitize the aftermath of battles after Kurdish forces repelled ISIS, to keep weapons and rotting corpses from polluting the soil and water supply. 
“As an engineer, I was appointed as a common chair of the municipality in June 2015. We started working in a small team…repairing water and sewage channels, street by street,” Mahmoud said. “At the beginning of 2018, I was appointed as the joint head of the Office of Engineers in Kobani for a year. I received a job from Rcell [to reestablish infrastructure and provide internet to the people] in 2019, and until now I’ve continued to work in this company.”   
There were so many harrowing journeys in between, including a four-month stint in a Turkish prison, when she was arrested while trying to visit her exiled family, and weeks of sneaking across terrorist-controlled territory to make it back to Kobani. From all this, Mahmoud learned a few tips that are applicable to any woman striving to make a name for herself in male-dominated fields. 
“The most important thing for women is to have confidence in themselves and their abilities and not hesitate to do the work,” Mahmoud said. “Stay away from people who have negative energy towards women’s work. Then set both daily goals and future program goals and always try to achieve them.”
“The Women's Free Square" in Kobani, which is a symbol of the resistance of the YPJ in the war.
“The Women's Free Square" in Kobani, which is a symbol of the resistance of the YPJ in the war.
Her leadership advice is to sit with all involved individuals, discuss the matter at hand together, write down everyone’s opinions, then, as the leader, choose what you think is the most appropriate decision for this specific situation. Living happily ever after doesn’t always mean getting married or getting rich. In Mahmoud’s case, it means working alongside her family (her sister is now the Director of Education in the nearby Rmelan region, while her female cousin is an appointed director of several local municipal governments), while learning about learning a programming language called Rust
“​​A strong woman can juggle between working abroad and working as a mother at home as well.  But as for me, I don’t think about marriage. I’m happy like that,” Mahmoud said. “I spend most of my time at work, and trying to improve my English so that I can get a master’s scholarship at a European university and continue my studies there if I get the chance.”
Thanks to an introduction via a member of our Des Femmes community online, we’ve been thrilled to practice English together with Mahmoud and explore how tech tools relate to all of us becoming even more powerful, wherever we may live.
Highlights of the month:
🔥 Des Femmes community member and blockchain-savvy engineer Ariana Waller, who we featured in newsletter #10,  just raised a $3.3 Million seed round for her startup Mueshi! Congrats, Ariana!
🔥We collaborated with NFT artist Leah Sams to auction the Power of Motherhood collection for Mother’s Day, with narratives and art inspired by mothers from the Des Femmes community. Check out the recording of our Twitter Spaces chat about this project here
🔥Here’s a video of the educational event we sponsored in Miami in April, in case you missed it. With regards to our next IRL events in Texas and New York, get a membership for more info coming soon.
🔥 Des Femmes community member and entrepreneur Daisy Alioto, whose publication Dirt was featured in newsletter #15, just raised a $1.2 Million seed round for her media startup! Congrats, Daisy!
Featured jobs this month:
We wanted to take this opportunity spotlight some job listings currently open at Thesis. They’re all about synergies between Bitcoin and Ethereum. If you don’t see a position that fits you, send them what you’re looking at
👉Director of Finance (Remote)
👉Director of Talent (Remote)
In addition to the job openings at Thesis, our very own Newsletter Editor, Allie Ruiz, is looking for help in her web3 accounting startup, RKO Tax. If you are interested in the intersection of crypto and tax accounting and/or if you have experience with Partnership tax in the US, reach out to Allie at
Thrilled to be in a position to say this…RKO is hiring!🥳🥳
Des Femmes Classifieds:
If you have any questions about the Des Femmes community, have any news in need of a shoutout in our highlights, or know someone worthy of a community spotlight, reach out to us on Twitter or Instagram via @desfemmesmag.  
To participate in our Des Femmes community programs, both IRL and online, you can officially join our community by buying a membership here.
Until next time, stay curious!
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