Gaza's first female taxi driver is only taking advance bookings

Gaza's first female taxi driver is only taking advance bookings

Nayla bought the vehicle with her inheritance when her father died. “I said to myself one day that I needed to put it to work.”
19 Nov, 2020

Palestinian mother-of-five Nayla Abu Jubbah launched a small revolution this week by becoming the first female taxi driver in the deeply conservative Gaza Strip.

In the impoverished Palestinian territory, women have the same legal rights as men to drive a vehicle, but in practice the trade of taxi driver has been exclusively male — until now.

“One day I was talking with a friend who works as a hairdresser and I said to her: ‘What would you say if we started a taxi service for women?’ She said it was a crazy idea,” the 39-year-old said.

The Israeli-blockaded territory was suffering 50 percent unemployment even before the Covid-19 pandemic.

After drinking a steaming cup of tea in her home, the social work graduate in a headscarf puts on a face mask and marches to her car parked outside.

After slotting her smartphone into its holder and giving a toot on the horn for show, she starts the engine and is off on the roads of Gaza, where the Islamist Hamas movement has ruled for more than 13 years.

Abu Jubbah does not cruise the streets for fares, taking only advance bookings.

“I leave my home and I will pick up my clients, to bring them for example from the hairdressing salon to a wedding,” she says.

She bought the vehicle with her inheritance when her father died.

“I said to myself one day that I needed to take advantage of the car, to put it to work,” she said. “Hence the project of a taxi service entirely for women, to put them at ease.” Today she is driving through the streets of Gaza City to pick up 27-year-old Aya Saleem for a shopping trip.

“We live in a conservative society. So when I saw that there was a taxi company especially for women... I felt a kind of freedom”, says Saleem.

She wears a long brown tunic, beige headscarf and a pale blue mask and carries a stylish bag.


Surya Kant Nov 19, 2020 12:06pm
What are the views of religious Masters
ds Nov 19, 2020 12:25pm
@Surya Kant should be ok to drive.
Dr iok Nov 19, 2020 01:10pm
@Surya Kant doesnt matter as long as she is happy to do her job.
Chrís Dăn Nov 19, 2020 01:26pm
Best wishes for this courageous lady.
M. Saeed Nov 19, 2020 02:30pm
Instead of consuming her inheritance money, she has wisely put it to use where it earns her a living for herself and her 5 kids.
Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Nov 19, 2020 03:45pm
Welcome to the club and the clubhouse. As always, keep it up and hang on tough.
BrownFlower Nov 19, 2020 06:06pm
This woman is a rock star.
yusuf Nov 19, 2020 06:19pm
My faith in the capabilities of Pakistani women has been rewarded. More power to you girls. May you go from strength to strength!!
Alexa Nov 19, 2020 07:05pm
I dont understand why Pakistanis show so much sympathy with the people of Palestine. I live abroad and deal with them on a daily basis. These people are very rude and inconsiderate, and perhaps the the last choice when it comes to making friends. I dont wear a Hijab. Some Arab men see me without wearing a Hijab as a shameless woman who is inviting other men to assault her.
Imtiaz Ali Khan Nov 19, 2020 07:31pm
Love you Palestinians of all faiths be non exiled or exiled Christians, Muslims or anyone.
B.Patel USA Nov 19, 2020 08:09pm
Wishing you all the best lady. If you have chosen this profession to take care of your family, no power can deny it.
Tanvir Khan Nov 19, 2020 09:32pm
Men, whosoever, have absolutely no right to enact degrading and unequal laws and taboos for women and suppress their lives!
Ramesh Nov 20, 2020 07:28am
IS IT Allowed?
Dasaavatar Nov 20, 2020 10:04am
Girls should be independent and should work . They don;t have to depend on husband or father for anything. Study well and earn well .
nikhil Nov 25, 2020 04:16am
Congratulations and best wishes