After marking its inaugural opening on Tuesday, the three-story mall in Gaza City now offers products running the gamut. The supermarket has nearly all possible commodities. Shoe stores with popular brand names, such as Nike, Adidas and Fox, sit next to clothing shops displaying window mannequins with hot miniskirts and vibrantly colored t-shirts.Once again I am saddened to have to show you the photos of the hopelessness that Gazans are forced to live under - hopelessness that is worse than a humanitarian crisis. The captions are written in the style of the Free Gaza Movement, 972Mag, Mondoweiss and Reuters.
On the Andaluseyya mall’s top floor, customers are able to enjoy quality time with their families, eating at restaurants, playing arcade games and, for the first time in Gaza, watching a movie in the cinema. Escalators, rare sites in this besieged coastal enclave, escort people between floors. To top it off, air conditioning provides much-needed respite from the oppressive heat outside.
In addition to recent construction that paved the way for this mall to open, Gaza City is in the process of opening several sea-side resorts. After three years with limited to non-existent commercial building, construction firms are now breaking stereotypical images of Gaza as a destitute territory with conditions comparable to the most-devastated sub-Saharan regions.
One of the primary investors in the mall, Ihab Al-Esawy, says the opening could never have been achieved if the current situation in Gaza was similar to years past. He needed previously-absent construction materials, now available, at his disposal [from smuggling tunnels - EoZ].
“We put the [mall] plan of the project in on October 10th, 2010 and started the work immediately,” al-Esawy says. “We wanted to make sure that we had enough construction material though so we could start building.”
Gazans are forced to wait in dehumanizing lines in the scorching heat to have a few minutes of respite from their unbearable lives.
While there is a large selection of products, the stores are empty because the prices are too high. The owners of the mall are in danger of losing all their money.
OK, maybe the stores aren't empty. But look how poor Gazans are forced to wear second-hand Lynyrd Skynyrd T-Shirts, humiliated that they appear to be fans of Western classic rock.
|The abused Gazans put up a brave front as they browse the men's suits, suits that they will be forced to eat because of their crushing poverty from the illegal Zionist siege.|
Once again, we see Gazans being forced to wait at virtual checkpoints to be served. Some give up and go to other sections of the mall in their frustration and humiliation. But it is all in vain - the lines are everywhere.
|Escalators were installed at the insistence of the Zionists who manufactured, and are enriched by, them. This is meant to ensure that proud Gazans get less exercise and more heart attacks, thus contributing to their slow genocide.|
|As Reuters wrote: Gaza shelves stocked, but hope in short supply. |
That crushing hopelessness is etched upon the faces of the few remaining Gaza survivors of constant Israeli aggression.