Treasures in a place of siege: Dalaal’s Story
For our series Treasures in a Place of Siege, we’ve asked women in Gaza to speak about objects in their lives that hold great importance to them. We learned that the things they cherish stand for more than what they first appear; they evoke memories of loss as well as feelings of hope for their families and communities.
In the second of this four-part series, we hear from Dalaal, a farmer from Beit Lahia in Gaza. In a place marred by years of siege, she holds in her hands one of her prized possessions, while she tells us about her dreams for her family and community.
You’re holding in your hand a tomato- tell us more; what significance does it have to you?
I have been a farmer since I got married about 28 years ago. My mum and whole family are farmers too. It is our source of living. It is our source of life.
How do you feel about the work that you do?
I love my work. Although it’s not easy, I can’t envisage a life without it. I have six boys and four girls, and it means that I can help them get through school and university.
And what about you, what are your dreams for the future?
I dream to be able to one day perform Hajj and to see all my children happy and secure with their own families. I would like to be able to reach maximum production on the farm, but I’d need items like fertiliser to achieve this. I know we will one day be able to achieve this, when life here gets easier and items can more easily enter Gaza.
What do you hope for your community?
I want my community to be able to one day depend on itself in all kinds of production. It can be done- but we need an easier way to have access to raw materials. Because of the siege, this is not possible now.
How you can help
The siege on Gaza is taking its toll on its agricultural sector; with limits on imports, farmers are unable to increase or, in many cases, even maintain production levels. Every day, women like Dalaal go to extraordinary lengths to support their families and communities despite the difficulties they face. With Interpal, you can give them a helping hand. To donate, please call us on 020 8961 9993 or find out more here.
This International Women's Day, on March 8th 2019, host your own afternoon tea and support the legacy of extraordinary Palestinian women like the late medic, Razan al Najjar.
All funds raised will go towards our Razan al Najjar Scholarship Fund which provides training to even more paramedics in Gaza.