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Sabira Itani, a role model and maybe the only fisherwoman in Beirut

Women's profile

Sabira Itani, the only fisherwoman in Beirut who challenged the stereotype of defeated widows and provided a role model of the hidden capabilities of women.  Sabira left school to help her father with his farm in Dalia area of Beirut after the death of her mother.  She is engaged in fishing for the past 12 years after the death of her spouse when she held a fishing net weighing 8 kilograms and threw it in the water to feed her three children.
Sabira was born in 1962 in a family of eight children.  She went very briefly to school and left it in 1975 after the death of her mother and so as to help her father and work with embroidery.  She raised poultry and sold milk until she married in 1979 to a fisherman whom she loved and helped in his work and learned the secrets of the trade from him.  Her husband died in a boat collision and the perpetrator of the accident was never identified.  After that, Sabira took hold of the net and started working and taught the trade to her sons and tought them until they decided not to go to university.
Sabira practices a trade generally reserved for men but is accompanied by her brother every day she goes to fish or prepare for fishing at 2:00 am.  When she works during the day, she works alone and drives her car to Zahrani to sell her fish to shops and to private clients.  Her daughter runs the household.  She has little relations with her women neighbor as she is different from them since she has challenged taboos as a result of economic hardship which required her to be economically independent.  She also smokes in public after smoking privately for years.  As such, Sabira became a role model for women so as they are inspired to release their inner capabilities.
Source: The Daily Star 24 October 2013

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