Palestinian Graduate’s Business Blossoms
Gaza City: (Gaza Strip): Ever since she was a kid, Haneen Ahmed Ghanem has been fond of collecting cactus plants. What started as a hobby led her to establish this year, the first cactus nursery in the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank. Ghanem,23, is an agricultural engineer who graduated from the Plant Production and Protection Department at Al-Quds Open University in the West Bank. She started growing cactus and succulent plants on the balcony of her room in the Jenin camp and then published photos of her minuscule garden. After graduation, Ghanem contemplated establishing the first cactus nursery in Jenin so that her hobby could become a business. She submitted her project to the Agricultural Development Association (PARC) and got the necessary funding and support to proceed. Today, her rooftop is a huge cactus nursery. She said the nursery includes more than 100 cactus species and various types of succulent plants, most of which are used for decoration. Ghanem grows rare species that are not found in the Palestinian territories and markets them through social media, delivering them to clients who use the cacti for home and office decoration. The cactus nursery is Ghanem’s source of livelihood, and she hopes her business will keep growing. She aims to complete her master’s in prevention and plant protection and wants to establish a factory dedicated to the extraction of cactus oils for beauty and health products.