Palestinian businessman founds clothing workshop from rubble

A Palestinian businessman — in an effort to aid the enclave’s economy after nine months of Israeli bombardment — has jump started a makeshift clothing workshop to employ Gaza’s inhabitants who have lost their homes and jobs, Middle East Monitor and agencies reported on July 5th. 

“I opened this factory for the displaced, so they can work and so I can create work for [them],” said Omar Samer Shaat. 

Despite the fact that his former factory in Rafah was destroyed, Shaat managed to salvage machinery, fabric, thread and other materials from the rubble. From them, he started his new workshop in nearby Khan Younis, offering jobs to displaced tailors.

READ: Save the Children estimates 21,000 children missing in Gaza

“We retrieved the machinery — fabric and needles, all of that — we retrieved them from under the rubble,” said tailor Sami Hassouna. “But we need continuity and this needs the entry of new raw material.”

He estimates his economic losses to have reached $6 million.

Israel’s imposed siege on Gaza has limited the supply of basic necessities, such as clothes. Only some humanitarian aid has been permitted. On June 30th, UNRWA’s Senior Communications Officer said that Israeli restrictions have rendered aid delivered “nearly impossible.” 

“The border crossings have been shut for some time. Ready-made clothes do not enter [and] neither does fabric or anything,” said Shaat. “We decided to open this factory in this shelled house so it can produce for the people.” 

Middle East Monitor and agencies


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