Monday, September 12

Shirin, a Palestinian business woman from Jaffa

Shirin Agrabiya had been walking around with the idea of opening her own store for quite some time. She checked different options, made various plans yet somehow it didn't happen. She almost opened a video store, then considered a perfume venture, a fresh fruit juice bar or perhaps a kiosk. Each possibility was researched, analyzed and discussed. Until some days ago, when reality got the better of her. Somehow it happened.

She's become the owner of a small vegetable and fruit store on Yefet Street, operating it in cooperation with her father and siblings every day for many hours. But the store is hers.
Next to "Abu Nader's" a popular restaurant where she used to be a waitress, opposite "Abdu the Fisherman" (a fish store and restaurant) , where she used to wash the dishes, she now runs her own business.
Many of Israel's women work, yet the large majority are salaried employees, working in part-time positions earning the minimum wage or even less. Women business owners are fairly rare. Young Muslim Palestinian women owning their own store are really rare.
True, Shirin has already proven herself as a community activist capable of leading and inspiring others but this is a new challenge.

The fresh dates are sweet, the mangos magic and the grapes just right for eating.


Jeanne said...

I am always sad about this form of conquest. Are women doomed to follow men up the path they've blazed to claim our place in a system riddled with patterns of dominance and suppression? Of course it is good with equality, and I realize that the relative freedom of one's own business reduces the level of daily, tangible oppression, but such successes should always be bittersweet. Seeking equality within a system strengthens that system. We don't have much choice, and particularly not in your country at the time being, but one should be aware that one is improving prison conditions rather than escaping to freedom.

Jeanne said...

By "we" I mean humanity, not only women, who do not have much choice.