Twenty-four-year-old Amir Abu Jameh collects and recycles scrap metal in the Gaza Strip, a job he inherited from his father. Amir continues the trade in spite of losing a leg in an Israeli attack on the besieged enclave in 2014.
Using a wheelchair, crutches and a prosthetic limb, Amir continues to travel across the Strip to buy scrap metal, bringing it back to his makeshift workshop in a relative’s yard and working on the items readying them for resale.
A number of Amir’s relatives were killed in the Israeli attack which forced doctors to amputate his leg. The family’s house and shop were also destroyed forcing; leaving them faced with rebuilding their lives from scratch.
Operating in Bani Suhail, in the south of the Strip, Amir says: “I clean, sort, and dismantle the pieces I collect, and supply them to dealers who buy them to be sold and used in and out Gaza.”
“I have not had another job, especially after I got married in 2015, and now I have a family of three – two children and my wife – and this requires me to provide daily expenses,” he adds.
In addition to scrap metal, Amir regularly visits the local dump to collect plastic which he sells to recycling factories.
Working in this industry, he explains, has become more difficult as a result of his injury.
“I want to help myself and my family, and I do not need anyone, so I bought a rickshaw and I work on it,” he says.
“I lost my leg, but I did not lose the hope and the desire to live,” Amir concludes.