An interview conducted with an inspiring woman to many.
-Can you please introduce yourself to our readers?
Ok, my name is Sara Araya. I was born in Asmara in 1984. I grew up and went to school here and then I got married in 2002, I’m a mother of three. Ever since I finished school I have been active in different jobs till I started working as a truck operator. -How did you get there?
I got to apply there when I was working at Bisha construction. I gave it a shot even though I didn’t have much knowledge about it, I just thought that maybe it could be a big step in my carrier. I obviously took some courses with a lot of interest.
-Were you the only woman?
No, there were ten of us. But only two of us made it to the end.
-Were you the first ones?
I guess so… especially because the machines were very new in Eritrea and a while ago only men dealt with heavy machineries.
-How was the reaction of the people when you first started the job?
They hated it. Only because they were looking out for me, they thought the job was way too much for a woman to handle.
-How did you deal with it?
Well, they are kind of right: the job is really demanding and tiring. Nevertheless I believe that you could do anything you set your mind on, if so nothing can stop you.
-What do you have to say about these sorts of jobs that are usually “reserved” to men?
Physically they are definitely stronger so it is obvious that one can automatically think that some occupations got to be done by men. But it really doesn’t matter because if you have interest, dedication and love for what you do, gender is not a big deal. Mainly in the actual social context we are living now, traditions and social conventions are long forgotten now that women have gained the same amount of rights and responsibility as that of the men.
-True that. Since you are one of the first women working with heavy machineries, how do you feel about that?
Well it is good to be an example, I am proud that I am one.
-How does the job affect you as a mother?
Being a working mom is naturally hard. But I think it has its own colors.
Well what I mean is, when I’m at work I get to meet a lot of people, I have a great time co-working with colleagues and when I go home I get to have an even more wonderful time with my kids an family.
-it was truly amazing talking to a wonderful woman like you. We wish you all the best.