- Title: Mother-of-five steers new course as Gaza's first female taxi driver
- Date: 23rd November 2020
- Summary: GAZA CITY, GAZA (NOVEMBER 17, 2020) (REUTERS) PALESTINIAN GAZAN, NAELA ABU JIBBA, WHO IS RUNNING AL-MUKHTARA TAXI SERVICE ADJUSTING MIRROR IN VEHICLE / LOOKING ON VARIOUS OF ABU JIBBA TURNING ON CAR IGNITION AND PREPARING TO DRIVE CAR DRIVING ABU JIBBA DRIVING / TALKING ABU JIBBA DRIVING CAR ON STREET (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN OWNER OF AL-MUKHTARA TAXI SERVICE, NAELA ABU JIBBA, SAYING: "Why did I think about this project? For the ladies to feel comfortable. I am a woman and I like to feel comfortable." ABU JIBBA, WEARING FACE MASK, DRIVING STREET, AS SEEN FROM ABU JIBBA'S CAR AS SHE DRIVES (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN OWNER OF AL-MUKHTARA TAXI SERVICE, NAELA ABU JIBBA, SAYING: "I told the hairdresser why don't we open an (taxi) office, for the comfort of both ladies and men. Also men can save money, instead of renting a vehicle for 150 Shekel (to move their brides) it will not cost much to get a taxi, I can give them a ride. She (the hairdresser) said no one will accept this idea and many people will reject that (woman driving taxi)." ABU JIBBA, SEEN IN VEHICLE'S MIRROR, DRIVING ABU JIBBA, WEARING A FACE MASK, DRIVING (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN OWNER OF AL-MUKHTARA TAXI SERVICE, NAELA ABU JIBBA, SAYING: "There are no jobs and there are thousands of graduates (without work). I am a human resources trainer but all the training centers are closed, no way to get a job." ABU JIBBA TALKING ON MOBILE PHONE, GETTING INFORMATION ABOUT A PICK UP LOCATION ABU JIBBA CROSSING ROAD TOWARDS HER VEHICLE, GETTING INTO VEHICLE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN OWNER OF AL-MUKHTARA TAXI SERVICE, NAELA ABU JIBBA, SAYING: "My dream is to have a fleet of vehicles along the roadside for Al-Mukhtara taxi for ladies." (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN OWNER OF AL-MUKHTARA TAXI SERVICE, NAELA ABU JIBBA, SAYING: "I am known among my family members, friends and people who know me that I solve problems so it is my title 'Al-Mukhtara'. So I named the office after my title." AL-MUKHTARA TAXI CLIENT, SUZAN ABU ATEILA, GETTING INTO ABU JIBBA'S VEHICLE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) AL-MUKHTARA CLIENT, SUZAN ABU ATEILA, SAYING: "It is a nice and a new idea. We wish we had something like this a long time ago. We feel more comfortable." ABU ATEILA, WEARING A FACE MASK, TALKING TO ABU JIBBA MORE OF ABU JIBBA DRIVING
- Embargoed: 7th December 2020 10:48
- Keywords: Al-Mukhtara Taxi Gaza Palestinians Taxi Woman
- Location: GAZA CITY, GAZA
- City: GAZA CITY, GAZA
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Middle East,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA001D5SGAC9
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: For Naela Abu Jibba, a mother of five who lives and works in the Gaza Strip, taking the road less travelled has become a way of life.
The first woman taxi driver in the Islamist-run Palestinian territory, the 39-year-old has become a target of sexist jibes about her abilities behind the wheel - but they pale into irrelevance beside the gratitude of her all-female clientele.
"Why I thought about this project? for the ladies to feel comfortable, I am a woman and I like to feel comfortable," she said.
Many of her passengers, who must book her service in advance, feel calmer too being driven by her than by men.
Client Suzan Abu Ateila, 28, agreed. "We feel more comfortable," she told Reuters.
Abu Jibba, who has a degree in community service, started her taxi business after failing to find work. Gaza's unemployment rate stands at 49%, with hardship deepened by border restrictions that Israel and Egypt, citing security concerns, have long maintained.
So far, her off-white Kia, which she drives while wearing a headscarf and COVID-19 mask, is the only car bearing her Al-Mukhtara (Chieftain) taxi service's livery.
But she hopes to expand her business once the pandemic, which has caused Gaza residents to cut down on their travel and social activities, ends. The territory of two million people has reported more than 12,000 cases and 56 deaths.
(Production: Arafat Barbakh, Mustafa Abu Ganeyeh)
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