For Naela Abu Jibba, a mom of 5 who lives and works within the Gaza Strip, taking the street much less travelled has change into a lifestyle.
The first lady taxi driver within the Islamist-run Palestinian territory, the 39-year-old has change into a goal of sexist jibes about her talents behind the wheel – however they pale into irrelevance beside the gratitude of her all-female clientele.
“I get lots of offensive (social media) comments, but the encouraging comments are far greater,” she mentioned. “Some say this is a job for men, others say we (women) cause accidents, when the fact is, women are calmer and more careful drivers than men.”
Many of her passengers, who should ebook her service upfront, really feel calmer too being pushed by her than by males.
“When a woman exits a hair-dresser shop, going to a party dressed and wearing makeup, she feels better riding with a woman,” Ms Abu Jibba mentioned.
Client Abu Ateila, 28, agreed. “We feel more comfortable,” she instructed Reuters.
Ms Abu Jibba, who has a level in neighborhood service, began her taxi enterprise after failing to search out work. Gaza’s unemployment fee stands at 49 per cent, with hardship deepened by border restrictions that Israel and Egypt, citing safety issues, have lengthy maintained.
So far, her off-white Kia, which she drives whereas sporting a scarf and COVID-19 masks, is the one automobile bearing her Al-Mukhtara (Chieftain) taxi service’s livery.
But she hopes to broaden her enterprise as soon as the pandemic, which has triggered Gaza residents to chop down on their journey and social actions, ends. The territory of two million folks has reported greater than 12,000 instances and 56 deaths.
“My dream is to have an Al-Mukhtara fleet,” Ms Abu Jibba mentioned.