Haya, Female 18

Palestinian (Gaza)

"I Was Working At A Clothing Store For An Older Man. After Two Months Of Working For Him, He Assaulted Me One Day."

I am talking here about my story. How I was and what I became!

Like any girl, I have come from a happy family, but suddenly, in 2017, everything changed. I called it the nightmare and disease year. My father suddenly fell, and we discovered he had cancer. At that time, my life stopped, I felt I could not go on, and I had no support. But then I decided not to give up for myself and my family.

In 2018, I went back to high school. I started studying and did all I could to succeed and help my family. Many doubted I would and that I should find a husband because education would not benefit me. They told me that my father did not have enough money to pay for university tuition and that I had to stay at home. But I refused, I insisted and did not give up!

I started working, and it was my first experience in the job market. I got a job offer selling coupons. I worked hard to save money to finance my studies and successfully passed Tawjihi. My mother asked me to reconsider enrolling at university because they did not have the money to pay for it. I started working at a clothing store for an older man. After two months of working for him, he assaulted me one day, which was the first dilemma I faced at work. I shouted at him, pushed him away, and asked for my money to leave. It was traumatic, and it affected me psychologically. But I decided to try again, so I worked in restaurants and clothing stores. Unfortunately, I discovered many immoral people, some harass you and others treat you like a slave. I was humiliated because of my need for money.

Then I decided to stay away from the popular areas and tried other places. But they require a national number to be able to work. I applied to an office to help me enroll at university, and after many interviews, my application was accepted. I was thrilled and started searching for a university with the major I dreamed of. I was rejected from public universities because I am Palestinian, I had to study in the international system, but it is more expensive. Then I searched for private universities and got accepted. When I was planning to register, I told my mother that I wanted to study law, she refused because I do not have the national number, and therefore, I cannot work in the future.

My dream was to study law, but I decided to study business administration. I got an excellent average in the first semester and was pleased about it. I worked hard to register in various courses to develop my abilities and skills. I have never given up, nor will I give up despite the obstacles. I will reach my goals and will help my family.