I am Salwa Shaban Sroor. I work as a bus driver at a kindergarten. I live in Gaza close to the sea. I love Gaza so much, I adore it. Just walking in Gaza makes me love it so much.

 

I have gained from my mother power, the courage, and self-reliance. I am a celebrity. Before being a driver, I had several other jobs where I was the first woman to do it.  I was the first girl to install TV antennas and restore television sets. It was my first job.

 

I was passionate about electronics since I was a child. I was interested in electricity, particularly how the radio and the TV worked. My sister always said that in most girls’ bags you would find makeup, but in my bag you could only find screwdrivers. I always carried them in my pockets.

 

I was the first lady to provide apartment rental services and I was the first lady to go out at night. My mother wasn't happy and I told her it was none of her business, that I left and came back the same person.

 

I have been able to drive since I was young, having a car at home helped me to learn to drive.

 

My sister was managing Al Quds kindergarten and it was about to close and they needed a new place. First, I told her I had no interest, but she said she would take care of it all, so I agreed and we started the new kindergarten together.

 

People are amazed to see a lady driving a bus. When I first started driving the kids from the kindergarten, I was forced to do it. As in any kindergarten, I hired a driver with a bus to collect the children. But we had many problems with the drivers we hired. First we were forced to buy a bus and then there were further problems. So I started to drive it myself. Step by step the children’s families became more comfortable with it and they were happy. They trusted a lady to drive their kids.

 

At first I had no interest in the kids. I would say hello to them, but I had no relationship with them. But as I got closer to them and started to listen and talk to them I understood their language and then started to like them. Harmony and love were created and now I can't live without them.

 

A kindergarten as a business can provide a decent living if you take good care of the children. When you do the job professionally the number of kids will increase. Gaza has become full of kindergartens, but only the best survive.

 

My biggest pleasure is to listen to the feedback from the children’s parents.  When I hear from them that their children have received certificates of excellence and they come show their appreciation for our quality of education, it motivates and empowers me.

"People are amazed to see a lady driving a bus!" Salwar Sroor