Hadeel Ghazi, a Palestinian woman living in Gaza, discovered her passion for sounds and acoustics early on during her childhood. Since she was 10 years old, she has been a daily participant in school programmes and activities, using her soft and gentle voice for everything ranging from narration to singing.
Hadeel, who is also a mother of two twins and a holder of a BA degree in IT from Al Azhar University in Gaza, has recognised her ability to produce high quality voice over records and sell those services to generate income, particularly during times where jobs are difficult to find and unemployment rates are on the rise.
“I worked in different job creation programmes for short-term positions since I graduated, and I used to feel discontented because they ended very fast. At the same time, I continued reading stories for my children at home. They loved my voice! and my husband kept encouraging me to train myself on voiceover dubbing. So, I logged onto a website, created a profile and uploaded a demo record of my voice. I received only a few requests for little money, probably because the sample was not recorded in a professional studio and the audio was not very clear.”
Hadeel’s work was doing better but she always felt that somethings were missing. She needed to hone her skills and improve her breathing techniques and dubbing. “Here is when I learned about the SAWTI initiative. I registered and passed all the requirements. I am finally a voice over professional ”.
SAWTI (my voice in Arabic) is an employment generation initiative launched by UNDP’s Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People to develop the skills and capacities of talented young graduates from the Gaza Strip to enter the labour market, both domestic and international. Trainees will first receive coaching on how to control their breathing, speaking pace, and modes of narration such as storytelling, news broadcasting, etc. They will also receive training on how to be part of e-work platforms and marketing themselves. The initiative will not only support 180 graduates, but will also facilitate the production of 360 audible books for persons with disabilities, the elderly, and people on the go.
“I have recently joined the up-work platform and I am receiving three assignments at least per week, which is very good. I used to earn USD 20 per piece but now it is up to USD 100. When I conclude a piece, and it gets published on YouTube, I listen to it with my children. I remember my eldest twin calling their younger brothers by saying ‘listen to my mom, she has a beautiful voice’. Now I record children stories for digital websites and I am looking forward to having my own mini-studio at home, which will further facilitate my work,” Hadeel noted.
“Everyone in life has his / her own blessing. It might be family, wealth, health or anything else. I have always had a passion for bringing words to life and now I realize that my blessing is in my voice. My voiceover career will be a stepping stone on my way to a new world and a better future for me and my family”.