Amal Abu Sbitan, a Palestinian woman from Deir El-Balah in the Gaza Strip, spends about 12 hours every day making date items with her neighbors.

The 45-year-old mother of three spends the date season making dates to bring in enough cash for her family to keep working all year.

As the main breadwinner for her family, she distributes around 900 kg of squeezed dates; 66% of the amount went to nearby business sectors, while the remainder would be used for traditional cakes.


Additionally, she also delivers jam, juice, and many different date items throughout the whole year.

Amal, like many Palestinian women, has started her own mission since the Israelis imposed a tightening barrier on coastal lands in 2007.

Fathiya Abu Amra, another Palestinian in her 50s, mother of six children. She said she discovered how dates were made from her mother, adding that "such traditional elements help us bring in money in troubled days like nowadays."

Therefore, around 85 percent of Gaza's population lives below the extreme poverty line, with a per capita wage of only US $ 2 per day. At the moment, there are 300,000 unemployed people in the Shati area, according to information provided by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.

With the ultimate goal of helping 20 women from Khan Yunis, the Ma'an Development Center is supporting a soon-to-be project that urges disabled women to make dates for display in the neighborhood markets.

Muhammad Qudaih, one of the organizers of the nearby Ma'an Center, revealed to Xinhua that his group had considered sending the activity because of thinking about the economic conditions in the neighborhood.

Hiba Al-Falit, the project's field manager, said that many women strongly anticipate the season of dates every year to bring in cash and support their families given the troublesome daily environments they go through.