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“Gaza is beautiful”: Meet the Work Ethic that Will Trump Destruction

When Saady Lozon’s house was mostly destroyed by an air strike, he worked from a friend’s place. When, following the bombing of Gaza’s sole power plant, the daily ration of electricity dropped from over eight to a mere two hours per day, he rolled with it—and worked for every second he could. In the best of times, Lozon’s business ethic is heroic, but when the assault on Gaza started last month, it became positively Herculean. Now, as he traces the fate of employees who have gone missing in the last six weeks, he is determined not only to pick up the pieces but to extend his team’s achievements even further.

Lozon is the CEO of the company Unit One, whose teams provide high-quality software development, data entry, online marketing and e-content development. It also provides employment for 200 Gazans, many of them recent graduates, and includes an all-female data entry team of 150. Lozon acknowledges that in much of the Arab world women often face resistance to their desire to work in mixed environments; the all-female team is his rebuttal of that objection. Women with disabilities face even greater disadvantages, so 10 percent of his data entry staff is mute.

The key to his entrepreneurial resistance, however, is not a quota but an attitude: positive thinking is the central pillar of his business plan. “We have to face everything and show the world our energy,” he insists. Pained by so much loss, he is also driven to show viewers everywhere another face of his home that triumphs over the recent destruction. “Gaza a beautiful place,” he affirms, “and we are making a living from business.”

For more informationUnit One

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Jennifer MacKenzie

Poet, writer and teacher Jennifer MacKenzie grew up on Bloomcrest Dr. in Bloomfield Hills, MI, which inspired her to wonder about places with patterns other than floral. Following her education at Wesleyan University's College of Letters and the University of Iowa's Writers Workshop, she followed a zig-zag course that included a pilgrimage across the top of Spain and a long sojourn in Syria in pursuit of the language of Muhammad al-Maghout and Moudthaffar al-Nawwab. While in Damascus she completed the books of poems "Distant City" and "My Not-My Soldier" (forthcoming from Fence Books) and edited the magazine Syria Today. Her poems and essays can be found in numerous journals including the Kenyon Review online, Guernica, Quarterly West, and Lungfull. She currently lives in New York.

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