For Gazan women itʹs a fine line between hope and despair
Amid the poverty and deprivation of the Gaza Strip, Palestinian women struggle to find a taste of the normality that so much of the rest of the world takes for granted. By Nidal al-Mughrabi
A locked land: strict border controls imposed by Israel and Egypt have devastated Gazaʹs economy and left many of its young women struggling to find work after graduating from college
Every second Gazan is unemployed: Suad Dawood holds a diploma as a medical secretary, but has been without a job for four years. "There are no jobs in Gaza. Whenever I get fed up, I go with my friends to sit on the beach or visit areas with greenery," she says
Limited choice: eighteen year-old Hana Abu El-Roos plans to get married this summer, but can't find items she needs for her wedding in any of Gaza's shops. "I haven't picked my wedding dress yet," says Hana, who is also busy preparing for her final high school exams. "I am confused. My sisters are helping me"
The inestimable importance of time out: "I'm nervous because this is my final high school year, but when I ride my horse I become free of stress," says high school student Fatma Youssef
Talent, a camera and the Internet: Nada Rudwan used to work in digital marketing, but as work slowed, she decided to channel her skills towards her passion: cooking. "I thought of doing something I like and that will make me money at the same time," says Nada, who now posts cooking tutorials to social media platforms under the name "Nada Kitchen"
A job well done: Sara Abu Taqea says she found temporary work in a Gaza hospital after finishing a bachelor's degree in midwifery, but that many of her colleagues were not so lucky. "It is a six-month contract, with no guarantee of further employment"
Teenagers the world over: Wessal loves to wander round Gaza City with her friends, shopping and eating fast food. "We have things that look like famous brands, but they are not the same," says Wessal
Finding joy in the little things: "despite wars and the bad economy, we are trying to find some joy. We know the reality we live in, so we do things we love to get out of a bad mood," Wessal adds, taking a selfie with a person wearing a costume in a public park in Gaza City
Sara Abu Taqea says she finds a sense of solace in the waves of the Mediterranean, which crash along Gaza's coast. "We are lucky to have the sea. The beach is a place for relief, and for meditation, so we can forget about the wars and poverty"