Feature: Gazans prepare to celebrate Eid al-Adha amid difficult economic conditions

2021-07-19 12:35:20 GMT2021-07-19 20:35:20(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

by Sanaa Kamal

GAZA, July 19 (Xinhua) -- Despite the difficult economic conditions, Gazans are preparing to celebrate the upcoming Eid al-Adha festival.

After the 11-day conflict between Israel and the Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza Strip ended on May 21, hundreds of homes and shops in Gaza have been destroyed, and significant economic damage was caused to Gazans.

However, Gazan residents still flocked to the local markets for supplies needed to celebrate the holiday, which is set to commence on Tuesday. People have bought chocolates, toys, new clothes, and other products.

Hussein al-Louh, a resident from Gaza City, told Xinhua that he insisted on taking his children to the market to buy Eid's clothes and purchase other necessary products for his family.

The 49-year-old father of seven said that during the previous Eid al-Fitr, another important Islamic holiday, his family was prevented from leaving their home due to the continuous bombing toward the Gaza Strip.

In a bid to make up for that, he will try to make sure his kids celebrate this Eid, no matter how heavy the financial strain is at home and in Gaza.

"There is no doubt that we are sad for the victims, but life still goes on, even if the conditions are unfavorable and poverty is everywhere," Al-Louh said.

Ahmed Habib, another resident from Gaza City, showed more optimism, saying that the residents were eager to enjoy the festival atmosphere again, after they thought that "they would die in the recent conflict."

"We deserve life, joy and celebration of Muslim holidays despite all the difficult circumstances we are living through," the 28-year-old man told Xinhua, adding "we have to respect our feasts."

However, his optimism is not shared by many merchants of the local markets in Gaza.

"The general situation here is bad, especially since we are just coming out of a war crisis," Fayez al-Bitar, a fruit merchant from Gaza City, told Xinhua.

"Last Eid, we were unable to sell any of the goods that piled up in our stores," the 69-year-old father of six said with a breaking voice.

Al-Bitar expected an improving situation during the Eid al-Adha season, but unfortunately, the outlook of his business has kept bleak for a long time.

For his part, Ramadan al-Tabatabi, a clothes merchant, complained of incurring heavy losses for failing to sell goods which he imported through the Kerem Shalom commercial crossing. He attributed it to the poor economic conditions experienced by the Gaza residents.

"Customers can not afford to buy the whole package of Eid clothes," he told Xinhua. Enditem