Tamara Alarja walks between the factory floor, where machines making and dyeing fabrics are whirring, and her office, where 20 orders are in progress.
The Palestinian woman, 29, is managing the only remaining textile factory in historic Palestine. Not only does the business have a history of female leadership, it is defying the Israeli occupation and bridging the Israeli-Palestinian divide by servicing both markets.
The business started from Tamara’s grandmother’s house in the Palestinian Christian town of Beit Jala in the mid-1960s.
Leila Alarja, now 79, and her husband, Geries, 85, had little money in the 1960s – Geries worked as a waiter in a local hotel and Leila started sewing at home. They had nine children.