Home WORLD ‘We will not give up’: Palestinians in Gaza rebuild business and economic news from scratch

‘We will not give up’: Palestinians in Gaza rebuild business and economic news from scratch



Gaza City -Mohammed Abu Matar’s 3D printing company Tashkeel 3D has devoted years of hard work, sweat and energy.

He is the only facility in the entire Gaza Strip that can produce major medical supplies such as stethoscopes and tourniquets. These are urgently needed items for Gaza hospitals, but they are difficult to obtain after 14 years of Israeli-Egypt blockade.

For many years, Israel has banned large quantities of materials and supplies from entering the Gaza Strip because they are classified as “dual use”, which makes Abu Matar’s 3D printing a way to circumvent blockades and blockades. Print important life-saving products low cost.

However, at 6 a.m. on May 18, an Israeli airstrike was razed to the ground. This is the building where his laboratory is located. This was a great event for Abu Matar and his team of three. tragedy.

“When I heard this news, all my memories of that place flashed before my eyes like a movie. This was my childhood dream.” Abu Matar, 35, told Al Jazeera.

“Israel does not allow any complicated printers or machines to enter the Strip, so we must start from scratch and build these functions ourselves. This includes destroyed materials, machines and research results.”

In this 2017 archive photo, Abu Matar is seen in Gaza City, showing his 3D printed stethoscope [File: Mersiha Gadzo/Al Jazeera]

Unable to import, Abu Matar and his team assembled the first batch of 3D printers in Gaza in 2014, pieced together the parts, and followed the online open source design.

They put together a CNC processing machine and a 3D scanner that did not exist before in Gaza.

Since 2017, Abu Matar estimates that they have invested more than $150,000 worth of resources, but this is definitely not money.

“It cost us a lot of research and mental labor. It is priceless,” said Abu Matar.

Abu Matar and his team have signed contracts with a number of clinics and NGOs, including Doctors Without Borders (MSF), which rely on them for 3D printed medical equipment.

He said: “When I know that my technology and projects help patients in Gaza, it means a world to me.”

The remains of the Abu Matar laboratory can be seen in Gaza City [Courtesy: Mohammed Abu Matar]

Fragile ceasefire stopped Since the Gaza Strip experienced its worst military attack in years, the Gaza Strip began to launch attacks in the Gaza Strip. At least 248 Palestinians, including 66 children, were killed in Israeli air strikes.

During the 11-day bombing, many commercial and innovative locations targeted by Israeli forces were valuable resources for the blocked enclaves. Abu Matar said that the Israeli army also destroyed a bookstore owned by Abu Matar’s father-in-law, which made rare books nowhere else in Gaza.

‘Start from scratch’

According to Bajes El Dalou, the head of its investment department, 18 factories in the eastern Gaza Strip where the industrial zone is located have been targeted by Israeli air strikes.

El Dalou told Al Jazeera that ten of the factories were destroyed and eight were severely damaged, affecting 200 employees who are no longer working.

“I don’t think there is any intention [for Israeli air attacks to target factories] But to destroy our will as people and destroy us. This is something we are used to,” said El Dalou.

He said that when Nihad al-Sawafiri destroyed his furniture company on May 17 in an industrial area near the border crossing at Mutal-what the Israelis called Karni, It’s like “a dream suddenly disappeared”.

Before starting the company, he was looking for the safest place for business in Gaza.

Sabafiri told Al Jazeera that a Palestinian business association informed him that there are already some treaties and international agreements to ensure that eastern Gaza is protected from Israeli attacks and that business can grow and develop.

“But it was still attacked and I lost my business. Imagine that after 30 years of hard work, you lost this job overnight. This is a disaster,” said al-Sawafiri.

“I don’t know how long it will take me to re-establish the business, but at least if things go well and the reconstruction funds return to Gaza, it will take me six months to start from scratch.

“Money and businesses can be compensated, but human life cannot be compensated, so I am very happy that we survived this war alive.”

A Palestinian woman cooks while another sits in the rubble of a house destroyed by the Gaza fire in Israel [Mohammed Salem/Reuters]

“Everything is gone”

28-year-old Mohammed Fora (Mohammed Fora) is the owner of a barber shop in the Shejaiya district in eastern Gaza City. Israeli fighter jets were destroyed on May 16.

Fora and his brother founded a company to provide services to their families, including their brothers who are physically disabled and need continuous treatment.

“Now, everything is gone,” Fora told Al Jazeera.

He will have to rebuild it from scratch, but it cost him $15,000 ten years ago and it was a difficult process.

“I will wait for the Gaza Reconstruction Commission to compensate me, but this usually takes months or even years. Now, my brother and I have been looking for separate manual labor like reconstruction workers. We must move on, otherwise we Will not survive.”

“We don’t want anyone to feel sorry for us, but at least let us live. Leave us alone. I’m disappointed. [the international community]. This is just a verbal service.If they care enough, they will do it [something] long, long ago. “

He pointed out that his barbershop was destroyed when Israeli airstrikes hit the graveyard next to him. “Why are you aiming at the dead? The irony is that even the dead won’t feel comfortable,” Fora said.

For Abu Matar, he was just grateful that he and his relatives survived.

He said: “In this war, no one wants to live.” “My team and I have put in tremendous effort and resources. Losing my business is a huge disaster, but human life is definitely more precious. “

Crowdfunding page May help his laboratory work again. In 36 hours, donors provided approximately US$27,000, more than half of the target amount.

“We all feel sorry for the news [when we heard it was destroyed], But we also understand that the seeds of our company pose a contempt and challenge to this profession, and we will continue to work hard to rebuild everything that Israel destroyed. “Abu Matar said.

“My message is one of hope and challenge. We will not give up. We will continue, and we will build our company again. Gaza is about resistance and everything that makes the impossible a reality. We will do it.”


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