Gaza’s Truck Driving Woman Sends a Message of Empowerment

Samira Siam is a 63-year-old professional driver in Gaza. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Mahmoud Ajjour – Gaza

Samira Siam is a 63-year-old woman from Gaza and 30 years ago, she became Gaza’s first professional truck driver.

30 years ago, Samira Siam became Gaza’s first professional truck driver. 

Now, at 63, she is a driving instructor. 

Though Palestinian women are well integrated in various fields of work in Gaza, and throughout Palestine, professional driving is not one of them. 

And though Gaza has finally broken the taboo of women as taxi drivers, and even car racers, truck driving remains a man’s job. 

So, when Siam joined the profession 30 some years ago, she was the talk of the Gaza Strip. 

Now, Siam is taking her job to a whole new level. 

“I obtained a license to drive buses and ambulances, I was one of the first women to do so in Gaza,” Siam told The Palestine Chronicle.

“It started as a hobby and then it became the main source of income for me and my family,” she added. 

Siam told us that her family has always encouraged her to pursue her dreams.

“I learned how to drive in 1984, and I decided to turn it into a profession by acquiring more licenses,” she said proudly. 

“At the time, a woman driving a truck was not fully accepted, but over time things have changed.” 

The change has occurred thanks to trail blazers like Siam and many other women in Gaza. 

Now, Siam works as a driving instructor. Her presence in the driving school has encouraged other girls to obtain other kinds of driving licenses, as Siam has done many years ago. 

“My message to Palestinian women is to always believe in themselves and be confident in who they are,” Siam said, before returning to her job, teaching men and women how to drive. 

(Edited by Romana Rubeo)

(All Photos: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

– Mahmoud Ajjour is a Gaza-based photojournalist. He is the Palestine Chronicle’s correspondent in the Gaza Strip.

(The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.)
Our Vision For Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders & Intellectuals Speak Out