- Title: From farm to face, Gaza women create cosmetics from local herbs
- Date: 29th July 2021
- Summary: GAZA CITY, GAZA (JULY 28, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF WOMEN SORTING THROUGH HERBS IN THE FACTORY WOMAN CUTTING HERB LEAVES OFF STALKS VARIOUS OF WOMAN WASHING LEAVES IN TUB WOMEN CARRYING SIEVE WITH HERBS AND MOVING IT TO DISTILLING MACHINE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) CHAIRPERSON OF BOARD OF AL-NAJD DEVELOPMENT FORUM, REFQA AL-HAMALAWI, SAYING: "As women in Gaza, we are proud that we are making products like Europe. We hope people would support these women and develop their conditions, you know, currently, those who succeed are destroyed, therefore we hope that they support these women in developing themselves, instead of 40 women, they should reach a 100. The agricultural lands that are always damaged, should be reclaimed, to invest in these products, and it could be that we can produce and export as well." BEIT LAHIYA, GAZA (JULY 28, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF BEE ON PLANT VARIOUS OF WOMAN COLLECTING HERBS IN THE FIELD WOMEN COLLECTING HERBS IN THE FIELD (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) GAZAN WOMAN WORKING WITH HUSBAND'S FAMILY IN THEIR FIELD, IKHLAS MAROUF, SAYING: "They used to take these plants and export them to make shampoo and aromatic materials. Now they take them and manufacture them here, in the country, this is helping our farms develop." PALESTINIAN FARMER, DAWLAT MAROUF, COLLECTING HERBS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN FARMER, DAWLAT MAROUF, SAYING: "I wake up every day at 5 a.m. to come to the field and prepare 40-50 kg ordered by the factory. I get them ready and they come and pick them up to make shampoo and soap." GAZA CITY, GAZA (JULY 28, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PHARMACIST, NARMIN AL-BANNA, STOCKING UP PHARMACY SHELVES WITH PRODUCTS MADE OF HERBS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PHARMACIST, NARMIN AL-BANNA, SAYING: "I like these products because they are natural and have no chemicals in them. I tried them with many people, and many customers and they gave me great feedback." BEIT LAHIYA, GAZA (JULY 28, 2021) (REUTERS) MAN WEIGHING BAG OF HERBS MAN CARRYING BAGS OF HERBS FROM FIELD GAZA CITY, GAZA (JULY 28, 2021) (REUTERS) WOMAN AT FACTORY VARIOUS OF WOMAN IN FACTORY FILLING UP SHAMPOO BOTTLES WITH PRODUCT
- Embargoed: 12th August 2021 12:24
- Keywords: Aromatic Cosmetics Essential Oils Farmers Gaza Herbs Land
- Location: BEIT LAHIYA AND GAZA CITY, GAZA
- City: BEIT LAHIYA AND GAZA CITY, GAZA
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Middle East,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA001ENW9JRP
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: For years, Palestinian farmers have exported herbs to Europe where they have been turned into high-end cosmetics and beauty products.
Now a team of Gaza women have brought the process home, extracting the essential oils themselves and creating products such as shampoo and moisturiser which are sold in 50 stores, including 30 pharmacies, across the enclave.
From a factory in Gaza City, the internationally funded project's four staffers, all women, use steam distillation to draw out the ingredients from plants including rosemary, basil, mint, thyme, and chamomile.
"As women in Gaza, we are proud that we are making products like Europe," Refqa Al-Hamalawi told Reuters of the project, which sources herbs exclusively from farms run by women.
Their range already runs to 17 products, including cleansers and body wash, under the brand GG - standing for green gold, as the farmers of northern Gaza call mint.
The project, aimed at empowering women and boosting the economy, is supported by Australia and the global charity Oxfam.
While small scale so far, the women involved say it has already begun to have an impact in Gaza, where unemployment hovers around 50 percent. Female unemployment is even higher at 62 percent, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.
(Production: Fadi Shana, Mohammad Shana, Mustafa abu Ganeyeh, Nuha Sharaf)
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