Palestine – Gazan one-armed girl makes accessories for a living

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Date: 29/05/2022

Location: Gaza – Palestine

Duration: 00:05:37

Sound: Natural

Source: A24 Gaza, Palestine

Restrictions: A24 subscribers

Storyline:

A one-armed girl from the Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip has been able to create a social media store to sell her home-made accessories. 

Walaa Al-Nateell, who was born with one arm, overcame life’s adversities, finding recognition for her outstanding talent as accessories maker in an age when disabled people was generally ignored.

The 19-year-old girl, whose talent has made her a social media star and an inspiration to many, holds threads and some beads with one arm to make gifts and souvenirs.

She told A24 News Agency that these products are a source of her daily expenses amid poor economic conditions of her six-member family and the refugee camp where she lives.

Walaa, who finished the General Secondary Education Certificate Examination last year, told A24 News Agency that she hopes to join university soon and wear a prosthetic arm to help her carry out everyday activities.

Shotlist

-Soundbite (Walaa Al-Nateel – Handicraft business owner):

“Last year, I recieved my high school certificate same as the rest of students my age but when it was time to enroll in university, I could not because of my family’s financial difficulties. While browsing social media sites Facebook and Instagram, I saw various pictures of handicrafts similar to the ones in front of me now. When I saw the pictures, I thought to myself that I had to make a business out of handicrafts. I saved up my allowance and bought the necessary material. The first handicraft I made was a key-chain that my aunt bought after expressing how much she liked it. Her encouragement gave me motivation and I started making other pieces and photographing them, then posting the pictures on my Instagram and Facebook pages. No one knew these were my handicrafts except family and friends as I have a disability and can only use one arm. After a while, everyone started to know my work and demand increased. People became curious to see my handicrafts.”

-Soundbite (Walaa Al-Nateel – Handicraft business owner):

“I am only able to use one arm, this work requires two arms and great accuracy. Handicraft is difficult even for someone working with two hands. I have made many handicrafts since I started this business including bracelets, name key-chains, rosaries and custom-made mobile phone covers. Handicrafts is a hobby that has turned into a source of income for me. The amount I make is not much but enough to cover my daily expenses in light of the poor economic conditions of my family and other people in Gaza Strip. I was unable to continue my education due to my of my father’s financial situation. The main challenge I faced at first with handcrafting was not being able to tie the bracelet and asking my father to hold it for me. My most important dream and ambition is installing an artificial limb to live a normal life as any normal human being.”

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