SHAFAQNA- Palestinians celebrate Ramadan in Gaza, spreading love and humanity, and embracing life amid a severe economic crisis brought on by 13 years of closure by Israel. In Palestine, as is the case in the rest of the Muslim world, Ramadan is a time of charity, family, and community. The besieged Gaza Strip, which has reeled under Israeli sanctions and successive wars for fourteen years, is also feeling the Ramadan spirit. Despite the many restrictions and the rampant poverty, solidarity in Gaza is at all times high.
Just like most people in Gaza, Walid seems to notice how the dire living conditions in the enclave affect the daily lives of its residents, especially during the Islamic holy Month of Ramadan. Every afternoon since the beginning of the Muslim holy fasting Month of Ramadan, Walid Al-Hattab cooks the traditional Palestinian soup called “Al-Jreesha” and delivers it for free to poor families in the poverty-stricken populated Al-Shujaeya neighborhood in Gaza city.
He prepares the soup by putting meats and wheat flour together with onions, herbs and water in a big cooker, which is heated on a firewood stove in front of his house in the neighborhood in the eastern part of the city. After the soup is ready, the 55-year-old man then delivers it to the poor families shortly before breaking the fast in the early evening. As this year’s Ramadan came amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Al-Hattab took the needed precautionary measures.
Al-Hattab said he has been doing this during Ramadan for several years with an aim to help those families hit hard by the worsening economic situation in the Palestinian enclave that has been suffering from an Israeli blockade for more than 13 years. Al-Hattab wears his facemask and gloves while he cooks Al-Jreesha soup, and when the fresh and hot soup is ready, children and men in the neighborhood stand in a queue to get their share, Xinhua reported.
“I’m just trying to revive an old Palestinian tradition of cooking in public, and I like seeing everyone coming to eat for free as a kind of boosting our social cooperation,” he said. Gaza cannot afford to leave these places open all year round, which is why the end of Ramadan in May will also be the end to these food handouts and the end to Walid’s Gresha. But Walid remains upbeat that he can bring some relief to those in need during Ramadan, The National told. Fawzi Mahmoud, photographer, shows embracing Life, spreading love and humanity during holy Month of Ramadan in Gaza.