Sometimes we face difficult and painful situations in life, which might make us feel hopeless and bring us down. 15 year-old Yusra however, was able to overcome the feeling of helplessness and think of a way that would get her and her family out of the rut they’re in.
After the tragic death of her elder brother, and an unfortunate accident that renders her fisherman father paralyzed and in a wheelchair, Yusra decides to take over her father’s fishing boat and therefore become the first and only fisherwoman in Gaza. The conservative society in Gaza is shocked and condemning, but with the support of her family, Yusra perseveres and ventures out to sea where she faces the same challenges as other fishermen in Gaza. She is restricted to fish in a 3 nautical mile zone which over time has become very hard to find enough fish in. The Israeli war ships are always looming menacingly in the horizon ready to pounce on any fisherman who
crosses the 3 nautical mile zone. After a run in with the Israeli Navy ships the international media gets hold of her story and asks for an interview with her. Later, more opportunities open up for her when she becomes a member of a cultural centre and has access to the internet. Suddenly life becomes full of possibilities.
Reflecting back on the choice that she has made to become a fisherwoman, Yusra realizes that you can be whoever you set your mind to be and that even if she is living in Gaza, “one of the biggest prisons in the world “she still has control and can change her fate.
This story is recommended as a supplementary reader in schools as it addresses a number of topics of interest to teenagers; overcoming hardship, taking responsibility of your life, courage, friendship and what it means to be a teenager in a war torn place like Gaza, where people have been under total blockade for years now.
This story was inspired by the true story of a young Gazan girl called Madelein Callab who became Gaza’s first fisher woman at the age of 14 .
Other than that all the characters and plot are fictional. All persons mentioned in the story and unfolding details in the story are fictional.