Doaa Althalathini holds a PhD in Business and Management and is a Lecturer in Business and Enterprise at Oxford Brookes University. Her research focus is on entrepreneurship, resilience, and women empowerment in violent conflict zones, including Palestine. Her most recent publication examines the impact of Islam upon women’s entrepreneurship in conflict zones and the extent to which women’s entrepreneurship is an influential catalyst for liberalising traditionally conservative gender norms.
A resident of war-torn Gaza, civil engineer Majd Mashharawi witnessed the acute need for construction materials essential to rebuilding damaged buildings and infrastructure. She founded GreenCake in 2015, a company that creates environmentally friendly bricks from ash and rubble. In 2017 she developed SunBox, an affordable solar system that produces energy to alleviate the effects of the energy crisis in Gaza. SunBox provides electricity to hundreds of people in Gaza. In 2018 she won the MIT Pan Arab Competition. Last September Ms. Mashharawi and Sunbox were awarded the Muhammed Ali Humanitarian Award.
Salma Shawa's fascination with the intricacy of Palestinian embroidery led her to create Anat International, a slow-fashion brand and community originating in Gaza. Anat transcends boundaries and breaks norms. Their garments are designed to be worn by all genders and are cut, sown, and hand-embroidered by both women and men. When she researched embroidery, Salma learned that male Palestinian political prisoners picked up the art of embroidery during their time in Israeli prisons. The prisoners would send the gifts they created to their loved ones. Unfortunately, this habit of crafts-making has declined in the past years because Israel confiscates materials (like thread and needles) that the prisoners use.