Stories of Success and Resilience – Gaza, Palestine
Voice of urban women agripreneurs
June 20, 2021
Even bees and their hives were not protected against the shells and bombs during the last aggression on the Gaza Strip in May 2021. Samar Al-Baa is a member of the Urban Women Agripreneurs Forum (UWAF) and is a beekeeper. Her bee farm is the only source of income for her and her family, and it was heavily damaged due to the recent bombardment of Beit Hanoun town.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), of the estimated 20,000 existing beehives, 7000 active beehives were destroyed during the last bombardment on the Gaza Strip. The beekeeping sector is considered one of the most affected by the last aggression on Gaza as a result of its proximity to the border with the occupation. The bombing also coincided with the honey harvest season, thus preventing beekeepers from reaching their bees. This caused wage losses for many beekeepers.
“The difficult conditions in the Gaza Strip did not prevent me from becoming a beekeeper and having a bee farm of my own. Beekeeping is a hobby that I have been passionate about since my childhood. In light of the current conditions of high unemployment and lack of job opportunities, I decided to invest my energy in beekeeping.”, says Samar Al-Boa. “I feel proud being a member of UWAF which was established and incubated by the Gaza Urban Agriculture Platform (GUPAP). It has allowed me to exchange experiences and knowledge with other women members, and learn about similar Arab success stories regionally. GUPAP also supported us in raising and strengthening our voice and advocate the rights of women farmers and sellers, advocating and influencing policies to achieve food security and food sovereignty in Palestine.
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