Palestinian families in Gaza often struggle to afford basic needs, but they often rely on the generosity of strangers to make ends meet.
So, one Palestinian family decided to turn their spare room into a makeshift market to sell handmade products such as paper lanterns, charcoal and handmade books to raise funds for the reconstruction of their homes.
“My brother works in the army, but he doesn’t have enough money to buy the materials for the lamp,” 18-year-old Azzar Al-Shabazi told Al Jazeera.
Al-Sharqiya resident Hani Ali Saleh, who started selling handmade goods online after the Palestinian government’s decision to end its long-standing embargo on importing non-perishable goods, said he was thrilled by the influx of new business. “
Azzar, who sells the lamp online for around 20 shekels ($6.50), is among hundreds of Palestinians who have started selling their handmade goods in the past three months, following an international outcry over the lack of support for reconstruction in the Strip.
“I was very happy to see a lot more people doing business online. “
People are trying to do business online, but most of the time it’s in a bad way,” he said.
We see more people who are making it in their own homes or on the street, as opposed to in the shops.” “
Most people are buying it in a very small number of shops.
We see more people who are making it in their own homes or on the street, as opposed to in the shops.”
‘No help’ Many of the items sold online are not only handmade, but also have sentimental value for families struggling to survive under the Israeli blockade.
“Some of them are books, some of them have drawings or drawings of animals,” Saleh said.
Many of them also have items that are considered to be “unusual”, such as charcoal.
“We have one family who has been selling charcoal since the occupation.
We have a lot that are made from charcoal,” he added.
“It’s not for sale to the public, but for the family to keep the family alive.”
Saleh added that the family had been selling some of the candles and lamps online for months.
“They are selling them in small quantities, but it’s good that they are doing it,” he explained.
“There is no help from the authorities in terms of money.
We are helping the people.”
Salehiyeh, meanwhile, said that the families selling their products online have made the best use of the space in their homes, which can be extremely cramped.
“When the Israeli government says that Gaza is closed, we are open to everything.
I think that we have the right to do it,” she said.