The Story of Nagla Bannoura Issa Saliba

Nagla Bannoura Issa Saliba is a 75 year old woman from Palestine. Despite all the challenges she has faced in life, her hard work and determination paved a better life for her children and even grandchildren. Nagla got married very young and despite growing up in a male dominated society, she always believed that women could also work and help provide for the family. When Nagla lived in Jordan with her husband, she wasn’t able to work .

“It wasn’t easy at all for women to leave the house to go looking for work”

When her children were old enough to go to school, she decided to return to Palestine even though it meant being separated from her husband. She was able to save some of the money her husband sent to her and with her savings she bought a piece of land.

“I will never forget the great day when I made the first floor of my house, it was in June 1962”

However, soon the bills began to pile up and she began looking for work. At first she started weaving all day and night, but it wasn’t enough. In 1979 her brother started an olive wood workshop and asked her to join him. They worked very hard together for ten years before the workshop joined the Holy Land Handicraft Cooperative Society.

“From that day many good things happened…people from the cooperative explained to my brother the importance of being fair with his employees and with himself.  Now we work 7 hours per day, women can do their job easier, with dignity in a healthy and clean place. When I look back and remember everything that happened to me for being a woman, without rights, I can only laugh and thank God that my children will have something better because there is an organization like the WFTO that is concerned about our rights”