Ruba

Palestinian Delegation, 2002
Seeds of Peace Fellow, 2015

IMPACT: ECONOMIC

Empowering women designers and crafters in regions of conflict.

How has Seeds of Peace had an impact on you?

As a Palestinian with Israeli citizenship, I grew up in Jerusalem and attended the Seeds of Peace Camp in 2002. I also attended the GATHER+962 event in Jordan in 2015 and I am a Seeds of Peace Fellow, which has provided me with support and guidance for my work with Birdsong.

How are you impacting your community?

I am one of three co-founders of Birdsong, a feminist online marketplace that sells clothing made by women’s groups. Believing that all bodies are beautiful, Birdsong is committed to photographing a diverse representation of models and refuses to alter their appearance. With a mission of “no sweatshops and no Photoshop,” we aim to make the fashion industry fairer for women. By curating an eclectic range of stylish products at affordable prices, we can make ethical fashion an easy choice. Through our lifestyle blog and on social media, we hope to put creators in the spotlight and spread positive messages on women’s empowerment.

Many organizations that provide holistic support and vital services to women struggle with funding. The Birdsong business model offers suppliers tailored support in exchange for a commission from sales. By lowering the barriers to selling online, we enable enterprising women’s organizations to stand on their own two feet. Based in the UK, our British suppliers include jewelry makers recovering from eating disorders and addiction, elderly knitters, and skilled seamstresses from migrant communities. Internationally, we work with a range of suppliers, from a women’s collective in Malawi to a social enterprise bringing together Palestinian embroiderers and Israeli seamstresses. Birdsong’s impact is measured in the revenue it generates for suppliers and for the women it works with.

EDUCATION

• London School of Economics, MSc in Comparative Politics and BA in International Relations and Business Administration
• Year Here Fellowship in Social Innovation

IN THE PRESS

For a Glimpse at the Future of Peacebuilding, Look to an Experiment Begun a Decade Ago (Huffington Post)
Seeds of Hope (Philadelphia Inquirer)

“Seeds of Peace encouraged me to have this sense of purpose to do things that benefit society, and just meeting all the people that you do through Seeds of Peace.  Everyone at Seeds of Peace is interesting in some way.  Just having this network, you learn the most from your peers and the people you meet at Seeds of Peace.”