Nadera bakes the best ka’ak in Qalqilya, Palestine!
Nadera, 42, is a talented cook in Qalqilya, in the West Bank. She began as an amateur, having learned how to bake pastries from her mother.
But when her husband died several years ago, the skill became a way to support her family. The widow has four children to support.
“Being responsible for children is a huge responsibility.”
Baking became her primary source of income. Yet with only a small oven, Nadera often had to decline large orders.
One day, she delivered an order of ka’ak — a mildly sweet, Palestinian cookie usually filled with dates or nuts — to a neighbor and learned about a great opportunity to expand her baking.
She applied and was accepted into Anera’s Women Can program, funded by Islamic Relief USA. Now, she could get serious about launching her small baking business.
Before joining the Women Can program, Nadera did not have an industrial oven, mixer, grinding machine, and freezer. “It was hard to do things manually. I would have given up trying to make the business work without this critical equipment,” she says.
After joining Women Can, she was able to freeze the date paste and other seasonal fillings for her pastries so that she can make and sell her cookies year-round.
“I like to bake eid treats like ka’ak and maamoul so people can enjoy them at any time.”
Nadera hopes to further expand her business in the future by marketing her products online.
Things have slowed down for Nadera since the COVID-19 pandemic began. “I am still working, but I used to sell all of my products on the same day I made them. Now I bake only twice a week,” she says. But Nadera has full confidence in the deliciousness of her cookies.
Nadera says she's grinding the chickpeas to make falafel.
“In two days eid will begin, and I expect that this will make up for the slow period.”
The views expressed herein are those of Anera and shall not, in any way whatsoever, be construed to reflect the official opinion of IRUSA, its Islamic Relief affiliates, or its donors.