Main content


An unconventional business start-up offering rare insight into the lives of courageous women striving to overcome extraordinary obstacles to achieve a better life. Eight Arab Israeli widows are leading a cloistered and restricted life, struggling to raise their children on a monthly social security allowance from the state. Then they decide to challenge convention by starting up a business venture. They establish a tiny factory for pickling vegetables and develop a market for their product in local stores. With little formal education or work experience outside the home, the women face numerous hurdles as the business struggles to expand to stores throughout Israel - while their personal lives reflect the joys and sadness of family weddings, bereavement, and loneliness.

The destiny of these women in their village, Tamra, located in the Galilee, is preordained. As widows, they are condemned to stay at home, raise their children and support their families on a meager Social Security allowance. To work outside the home is a very unconventional act for a widow in the conservative Muslim society. Another option open to them is to remarry, but this option carries a heavy price - to leave their children, who are taken away to live with their dead husband's family. Thus, the options open to them vary from bad to worse. The result is a life of loneliness and poverty. These eight widows are trying to change their fate.

They are all between the ages of 32 to 50, traditional and religious Muslims, covered in colorful cloth from head to toe. By chance, a course for business entrepreneurs held in Tamra served as the catalyst for their initiative to establish a business of their own and change the hopeless circumstances of their lives.

Meanwhile, they work every day without wages, since all the profits are invested in the development of the plant. The eight women have no experience or know-how in management and economics. They have no idea what a Profit and Loss statement is, or know anything about salaries and profits. Yet the experience they have accumulated as single parents raising their children, and the resourcefulness required to single handedly manage a household, is now utilized in the workplace.

The plant contributes to their sense of self worth and frees them of their isolation. Attitudes towards them in the village are changing. Among the men, they are beginning to win respect. Will they succeed? Will the plant grow and start to feed its founders? The first year of the plant is full of laughter, joy and hope – but also tears, fears and disappointments.