Wonderwomen of Gaza

Wissam is living in Beit Lahia - one of the most affected areas of the war. She is proud to have three children studying at university. “I am proud to be Palestinian. Not just a Palestinian woman, most of the time I feel myself more like a man, too. Because I carry the responsibility of a man and a woman”.
Ovidiu Tataru
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These women have the heroic qualities that mark many women living in the Palestinian Territories. They live in an extremely difficult context: facing war, high unemployment, and limited rights as women. But they also have hope for peace and a better life for themselves, their families, and communities. Read more about the challenges of living in the Palestinian Territories.

Wissam is living in Beit Lahia - one of the most affected areas of the war. She is proud to have three children studying at university. “I am proud to be Palestinian. Not just a Palestinian woman, most of the time I feel myself more like a man, too. Because I carry the responsibility of a man and a woman”.
Ovidiu Tataru
Zena, 27, is an administrator for the United Nations Development Programme. She says: "The world sees me as a daughter of a refugee, a wife of a prisoner, a mother of dead child, but for me I'm also a woman and I exist."
Ovidiu Tataru
Amani, MSF health educator and ICU nurse from Rafah, mother of a five year old daughter, "Despite how the hand of life has treated me, I dare dream of a brighter future. Gaza women dare to dream big, bigger than the occupation, the blockade, and a lifeless life.”
Ovidiu Tataru
Basma, 34, from Gaza, she has 3 children, 2 boys and a girl, “I am a civil engineer, and I like to highlight this to show that, just like any other people in the world, we like to learn, we work , we get married and we have a normal life.”
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Latifa about 60 years old, mother of four, “I raised my children alone in Egypt while my husband was working in Palestine. When we finally arranged to live together in Gaza, my husband passed away so I continued to raise my children alone. My family is in Lebanon. I have met them only once after 33 years. But I never felt strange here in Gaza. It's a wonderful place to live, because the people are warm.”
Ovidiu Tataru
Heba 30 a mother of two from Gaza City – “As a woman in Gaza we are doing everything. We care for the family, we cook, we study and get an education, and we work. We do everything without complaining. And we want to do more and more. Actually, we can do everything. We do everything like any other woman in the world. We follow fashion, but in our way.”
Ovidiu Tataru
Jasemine, French translator “I just wish for basic simple things, that the borders are open again, for electricity and clean water. Gaza is a hard place to live. I just want to live like any other woman.”
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Leyan, 19, is studying oral medicine and is a trained professional Dabkah dancer - a traditional Palestinian dance “We have our dreams, our lives and our habits. I will never experience failure, as I don’t know it. I just don’t call it like that instead I call it ‘success threshold’. I managed to pass the highest score in high school and I entered oral medical school. It is one of my dreams to become dentist. I want to help my people and I hope to take up an important role in society.”
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Mais, 18 years old student of architectural engineering “I want to tell all the women and girls in the world that it is always the time to try something new, and trust the magic of the beginning and don’t stop the adventure.”
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Ne’ma, 34, MSF nurse from Gaza city. She lost her home during the last assault on Gaza: “I work as a nurse and I love my work very much, I mostly admire working with children. My colleagues call me the ‘pain killer’ in the clinic because I prevent the children from feeling the pain.”
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Rana – physiotherapist with MSF – “Growing up in Gaza made me strong in dealing with life. And working in the medical field made me even stronger, because I am treating patients who really suffered. We teach life in Gaza, we don’t have to teach our children to survive, they just do. We don’t teach our daughters to be strong. It’s like we women are naturally strong. It is the only way to handle life. You have no choice. You have to live it”.
Ovidiu Tataru
Rawand, 29, translator, says: "In a world of conflict, survival can be hard. To be strong is a must. Gaza is the place of all wonders and we choose to see the bright side. Gaza teaches you how to live the life to the max. You cannot survive if you chose the bad side. We in Gaza try to always live on the bright side and to learn from what we get, from the massacres, the poverty, also from the high rate of education. It’s not easy, every time you feel there is something new happening. Adventures never stop here. I wish that we really have all basic human rights, like freedom of thoughts, of travelling, all those simple human rights. That’s it.”
Ovidiu Tataru
Rola, 25, studied business administration and works as an admin assistant at a bank “The best way to discover your greatest strengths is to face your biggest weakness.”
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Safa, 29, MSF physiotherapist from Khan Younis “In Gaza every woman is exposed to problems but we try not to be too affected. Challenges we face make us stronger each time we face them. I try to stay positive.”
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Samar, 36 MSF pharmacist from Gaza “Life is the most valuable and precious gift we got from God. We deserve living despite any kinds of pain. In my work with MSF I fight death by living life and try to inspire others to live it as well. The smiles of my kids inspire me and make the world around me a better place.”
Ovidiu Tataru
Wafa’a, 28, a translator and pharmacist, says: “The actions of Gaza’s women speak for themselves. We don’t need words. But I like to call the situation in Gaza not complicated or difficult I rather call it challenging because we can still manage to study, and can find work. It makes us flexible here and we are very strong. We have hopes and we manage to do many things. I hope for peace. I hope that we can deliver our message to the world that we are here, we exist and we deserve to live. It’s to change the - I wouldn’t say bad - but strong image that people have about us around the world.”
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Wafa’a Z, 29, a physiotherapist who lives in Gaza “We are used to wars, every two years there is a war. But we need to be strong, and it makes us strong. Last war I was especially afraid because I have two daughters and I feared for their lives.”
Ovidiu Tataru