Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Lack of Electricity Pushes Gazans to Spend Ramadan on Beach | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Palestinian friends share a dinner on the beach as they break the fast during the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan on June 9, 2016 in Gaza City. AFP

Gaza-A big number of families gather daily before Iftar time on the beaches of Gaza, looking for a new lifestyle that makes the coast the only getaway for those who suffer from various crises. The lack of electricity for long hours along with the high temperature pushed the Gazans to choose an escape that ensures them the serenity they often miss due to the living conditions in the strip.

The sea coast in Gaza became the most important part in the inhabitants’ life to take a deep breath. The absence of electricity for long hours is still affecting the people’s lives who live the Holy month of Ramadan same as they used to over the last years due to this crisis that grows without solutions.

This crisis pushes the strip’s people to eat their Iftar on the sea coast running from the darkness in their homes. Therefore, they prepare their meals and go to the beaches before the breakfast time to eat it there with a positive mood among the families’ members, especially the kids who play together before eating their food.

Gazan Elham Mohammed says that she visited Sudania beach in the north of Gaza Strip with her kids four times since the beginning of Ramadan. Mohammad told Asharq Al-Awsat that she prepares light foods in her home so she can easily bring them to the beach and so her children can eat without exerting more efforts.

The strip’s coast is full with cafeterias that provide services and prepare Iftar meals for some families, who prefer to buy their food instead of preparing it at home. Abdullah Saad, owner of a small restaurant says that the prices are still affordable, but people exaggerate in complaining. He added that their profits are stable and that they expect the new summer season to bring them a good revenue, compared with the previous years.

Saad continues that the coincidence of Holy Ramadan with the summer vacation gave them a new opportunity to host people, unlike other seasons, during which Ramadan coincided with the schools season. He also noted that the lack of electricity encourages families to go to the beach and to eat the breakfast there, which brings some benefits for the owners of restaurants and coffee shops.

Khalil Abou Eid, who accompanies his 13-member-family to the beach of Khan Yunis, said that many families can’t reserve a place in cafeterias, because they are unable to afford their costs. Therefore, they prefer to sit on the beach with a small light to enjoy their vacation.

While the electricity schedule applied over the past month and half delivers from six to eight hours of power, was considered as remarkable promotion according to some officials, the Gazans expressed discontentment because often they are obliged to eat both Iftar and Suhur in the darkness.