This is Gaza city, a city that had gone through three consecutive destructive wars in less than 8 years, a city that has been suffering from political conflicts ended to militants’ coup or Hamas’ takeover of Gaza, a city that is politically and economically sanctioned and beleaguered since 2007.
So, welcome to the club my dear.
Logically these tragic and disastrous events affected all aspects of life in Gaza so badly especially the economic situation; lack of job opportunities, the increasing numbers of jobless graduates, the huge number of war injuries and disabilities and the massive destruction of houses and infrastructure facilities are all definitely reasons for the dramatic rise in poverty and unemployment rates in the city.
Despite this miserable situation there are people who can rise from the ashes, or as we say in Arabic, “people who are like roses among the thorns”. These people did and do their best to create their existence and achieve their innovations in this miserable fate.
Lately I’ve read and heard a lot about some photographers, painters, musicians, artists and many other talented people , they even got the chance to star in famous TV programs like Arab Idol, Arab Got Talent and The Voice.
As it was said “Pleasure in the job puts perfection at work”, I will talk about one woman who developed her passion into a source of living, it is just amazing to make your career and passion come together.
Om Yousef, who is obsessed with embroidery and handicrafts, is married and have 2 boys and one girl. Her family are Palestinian refugees who live in Jordan, due the israeli siege she was unable to visit her family easily for a long time, so she was a house wife having too much free time. One day, one of her friends suggested she could do embroidery and at that moment she had no idea about it. She enrolled to one of the local women organizations where she got courses in doing embroidery . She liked it so much and created many things for her house until someone suggested that she could start her own business in embroidery. The idea was stunning for her, her problem was that she didn’t have enough money to start, so she applied to get financial support from one of the local organizations and she managed to borrow more money from some of her friends.
Surprisingly, her project boosted while there were too many similar projects, but as she says, the quality of her works was the reason behind this success. Om Yousef worked to develop her professional skills, she got courses in administration and accounting.
The project now is not only a source of living for her, but also to other 20 women who live in difficult situations. Some of these women are disabled , other are jobless graduated girls and other women are widows . Definitely, she had problems as a result for the political situation such as the lack of the needed materials due to the zionist siege, the difficulty to market her products locally and abroad, the low rates of sales in a country where people strive to win their bread, and the absence of tourists.
To see more of Om Yousef works and for direct contact on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/mnobanee.rayyes