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Ghada - Ten Readings of a Blocked Decade

 

#OpenGaza

Even before I met Ghada, I understood her vision when I saw her shop. On one of the central streets of Rafah, only a few steps away from Ghada’s house, sits the hair salon that she will soon open. The work has advanced by leaps and bounds to be ready for the opening date.
‘I chose a shop nearby so I can immediately transfer all valuable equipment and my cash to a safer room at my home if anything happens’, Ghada tells me. Even though Ghada lives at her parents’ home, and could rely on them for water and electricity expenses for her business, she insisted on buying separate water tanks and having an independent electrical system. ‘The business training of Action Against Hunger showed me the importance of carefully keeping track of my own expenses and profit’, Ghada explains. 

As Ghada opens up to me about her troubled past of domestic violence and divorce after 20 years of marriage, I understand what independence must really mean to her. She explains it is a dream come true for her to have her own hair salon. ‘Being a divorced woman is not easy in Gazan society’, Ghada stresses. ‘My family, however, supported my decision and registered me in different courses, which eventually allowed me to start working as a home beautician in 2010.’ 

Being the caretaker of two sisters, one divorced and one disabled, Ghada is an avid believer and advocate for women’s rights. Action Against Hunger’s project further inspired Ghada to help other women: ‘I would like to train as many women as possible to offer them a career that guarantees a sustainable income’, says Ghada enthusiastically. ‘Hopefully I can employ them when I manage to expand my business.’  

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