Meet the Green Girls – Aseel Alnajjar, Ghaidaa Qudaih, and Nadin Rock, three young women from Khuzaa, in the Gaza Strip, who started an independent agricultural venture in late 2020.
Like other young people in Gaza, the three women graduated university and entered a job market where more than 80 percent of women under 30 were unemployed, even before the pandemic. Thanks to modest seed funding and the support of family and friends, they were able to rent a small plot of land in the east of the Strip, where they planted lettuce, radish, and peas, and got to work. “We always dreamt of having an income of our own, but given the economic situation, we know there’s no point in waiting to find work,” says Ghaidaa Qudaih. “We realized we had to take initiative.”
Today, the Green Girls face myriad challenges as a result of the closure enforced by Israel, which blocks travel for the purpose of professional development, limits access to crucial materials, and restricts exit of produce. Aerial herbicide spraying conducted by Israel along Gaza’s perimeter fence and military incursions into the “Buffer Zone” cause damage and heavy losses for the agriculture sector in the Strip.
Despite these hardships, Aseel, Ghaidaa and Nadin believe in the business they built, and have big plans for the future. They dream of the day when they can grow their venture and share their success with other women in the Strip.
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