For seven years, Nour Abu al-Qaraya barely stepped from her Gaza home, except to go to a hospital, after one of her relatives threw acid on her during an argument over her father’s inheritance. This deliberate act of cruelty destroyed Abu al-Qaraya's face and partially blinded her. She has had eight operations, but the scars on her face erected a barrier between Abu al-Qaraya and the rest of the world, turning her into a recluse.
Abu al-Qaraya’s life changed, however, after she joined the Alorkedea (Orchid), an initiative in Gaza that provides psychological support, health tips and networking opportunities for women with scarring and other disfigurations. It also hosts a number of activities to integrate affected women, who often refrain from going out, providing them opportunities to comfortably socialize. The women who take part in Alorkedea have birthmarks or birth defects, burns or war-related injuries.