First women’s yoga training center opens doors in Gaza

  • A small group of Palestinian women in Gaza are stretching their limbs with yoga to help them teach others to cope with the stresses and traumas of living in the embattled territory.
  • There are few recreational activities for women in the densely-populated enclave of two million people, which is under a blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt and has the highest unemployment rate on earth.
  • Amal Khayal, who teaches the class in a makeshift gym and also heads women’s activities for Italian charity Cooperazione Internazionale Sud Sud (CISS), said the project was aimed at training some 30 women to teach.
  • “Everyone in Gaza, specially women, needs yoga because we live in a tough place. There are no entertainment facilities where we can unload our depressions which come in addition to our daily life issues,” said Amina Al-Zraiay, a sports teacher and occupational therapist.

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