Residents can't afford to celebrate festival

After days of fear the Gaza prepares for Eid-al-Adha

GMT 07:14 2012 Friday ,26 October

Arab Today, arab today After days of fear the Gaza prepares for Eid-al-Adha

Palestinians in preparation for Eid al Adha in Gaza Strip
Gaza – Mohammed Habib

Palestinians in preparation for Eid al Adha in Gaza Strip Gaza – Mohammed Habib After living in fear and worry about the Israeli attacks which have killed six people and injured numerous others Gaza residents are looking forward to some calm with the announcement to cease fire between Israel and Hamas. This calm will allowed the citizens to get their needs met before Eid-al-Adha.
The streets of Gaza are now full of cars and passengers and the markets restored to their normal activities.
Mostafa, owner of a clothes shop, said that the number of buyers increased after a slow day on Thursday.
Many people head to the market just for fun, not for buying, because of the poor economic conditions and the high unemployment.
In Sheikh Radwan’s Suq stands of sweets, chocolates and clothes with different colours and forms are spread out, leaving a vital image for the citizens,who can enjoy looking at them without buying them.
Most of the citizens in Gaza are busy buying clothes for their children, food and sweets for the feast, while others fast for Arafat and prepare for sacrifices (slaughtering sheep).
Entering the Suq in Gaza, the clothes and commercial shops are empty of buyers, despite the availability of most  things and discounts.
Citizen Khalil Arafa said he spent the days before the feast watching the clothes in the Suq, but because of his “empty pockets” he can’t buy anything for his children to bring them joy.
He said there are many things in the market, but the merchants raise the prices while at the same time the economic conditions are bad and he can’t afford buying anything.
Khalil leaves his house and returns with empty hands after a walk in the market that could extend to seven hours in one day.
On the other hand, merchants complain about the low demand during the festival and the drop in sales, which is unusual compared to previous feasts.
Majed al-Aghwani, owner of clothes shop said the market is facing a weak demand, even if the employees have already received their salaries days before.
He said that merchants wait for the feast days to sell their goods in order to compensate for the other months of the year and pay their financial commitments, but the markets are not selling.
Merchant Youssef al-Ghamrawi agreed sayinh the reason is that this year the feast came at the end of summer, beginning of winter and was preceded by the school entry and al-Fitr feast.
Al-Ghamrawi added that these reasons forced the citizens to avoid shopping, because of the low income and the elevated prices. Also because people are busy buying sheep, which disappoints the merchants who desperately wait for festival seasons.
According to al-Ghamrawi, most of the people in the market came to spend time and look at the products without actually buying anything.
In the middle of the conditions suffered by people in the Strip they try to bring the smile to the children’s faces.
Gazan workers with the help of Egyptian technicians finished the preparations of “feast’s carnival for the circus” on the yard of the governmental Serail, at the centre of Gaza.
This was in preparation to start the Carnival on the first day of the feast.
Dozens of Gazan workers participated to the implementation and preparation of the dedicated locations, with three experienced Egyptian technicians constructing the “circus tents” for the Egyptian show which will start on the first day of the feast and last for 30 days.
The Gazan Strip saw a minimised circus show in the 90s by Russian professionals.
According to Dr Gamal Badr, project director in Rawafed company, the recreational idea was renewed by a partnership between the investor Mohamed Hassan Salmi and Rawafed company for investments in order to establish the Carinval during the feast.
Badr said Gaza misses recreational and touristic areas and locations to present artistic shows, which was the main motivations for his company to start the preparations for the carnival.
He explained that the carnival aims to break the blockade by all  means in Gaza, by hosting the Egyptian team which will present artistic shows that have never been shown before on the Strip.
He pointed out that the circus activities not only entertain the citizens, but also targets the Gazan children who suffer psychological disorders due to the repeated Israeli shelling over the residential areas.
This is a first of artistic  event of its kind because the Israeli blockade over Gaza Egypt has closed the Rafah crossing.
Badr said the carnival will include air games for children, and other optical and electric games, in addition to the circus tent, which has the capacity to include nearly 1000 people.
Badr added that they tried to include some circus animals, but technical procedures prevented it.

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بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
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