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The New Arab

Gazan youth skip out on Eid celebrations in hopes of making money

Muslims across the world began celebrating Eid al-Adha on Friday [Getty]

Date of publication: 4 September, 2017

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Working during holidays means people are usually paid twice as much due to a higher demand inside the besieged enclave.
Muslims across the world began celebrating Eid al-Adha on Friday. In a popular tradition, families take a break from work and gather with each other to eat and celebrate after morning Eid prayers.

Mohammed Abu Odeh from Gaza, however, had to skip out on seeing his family because he decided to use Eid as an opportunity to be able to feed his family instead. He has been doing this for the past three years, he told The New Arab.

Abu Odeh has been working during the holidays for three years to sustain himself and his family. If he didn’t skip Eid celebrations to work, he wouldn’t be able to support his university fees, or to be able to feed his family during the rest of the year.

The deterioration of living conditions in Gaza Strip as a result of ongoing Israeli and Egyptian siege and the pursuit of Israeli wars increases the daily suffering of the youth, depriving many from embracing the festive atmosphere just so they can find means to live.

This is the sad reality for thousands of Palestinian families in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Those who work during the holidays are usually paid twice as much as working during ordinary days due to a higher demand inside the besieged enclave.

According to the statistics of the Popular Committee to Break the Siege on Gaza, some 60 percent of those unemployed in Gaza are youth, while more than 80 percent of Palestinian families in the besieged enclave rely on some form of aid provided by international institutions.

Twenty-year-old Ahmed Abu al-Huda’s situation is no different from Abu Odeh. He spends most of his time during Eid al-Adha selling lamb in the hope of obtaining as much money as he can during the holidays.

The total amount of money that Abu al-Huda earns for every barbeque per kilogram of meat is no more than eight shekels (US $3.58) and he says he is keen to complete his work quickly in order to meet many of the requests reserved for him in advance.

"The Eid al-Adha is a seasonal opportunity to earn as much money as possible, especially because Gazan families accept the meat of the sacrificial carnage they receive or slaughter during this season in return to pay for every kilogram," Abu al-Huda told The New Arab.

The poverty rate is more than 65 percent among the Gazan population, while the food insecurity rate exceeded 72 percent. There are more than a quarter of a million unemployed in Gaza.

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