Facing economic hardships in her West Bank village, Najieh Hawash turned to the one thing she has known her entire life: olive trees. Hawash's olivewood carvings have secured a living for her six family members, defying what she termed as a growing "feminisation" of poverty in Palestinian cities and villages. "I had to do something to improve my family's living condition I received a loan from the Palestinian Business Women's Association (ASALA) to start my business," the resident of Beit Sahour, noted. With her son and husband assisting her work, Hawash's woodcarvings have now even found a market in the US.
Hawash was one of dozens of rural women from across the region who showcased their crafts and stories at the opening of the Regional Rural Women's Bazaar on Wednesday. HRH Princess Basma inaugurated the two-day bazaar, which showcased the handiwork and cultural traditions of women's from Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia and the West Bank. Touring the bazaar, attended by Canadian Ambassador in Amman Mark Gwozdecky, the Princess underlined the significance of the regional project in empowering rural women and enhancing their economic role, indicating that the fair provides a platform to foster cooperation.
Princess Basma voiced her gratitude to the Canadian embassy in Amman for giving rural women the chance to take part in the development process through the Canadian International Development Agency.