Feature: Gaza women with cancers make embroidered facemasks for Christmas

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, December 23, 2020
Adjust font size:

by Sanaa Kamal

GAZA, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- Nearly 40 Palestinian women, all diagnosed with cancers, get together in a small workshop in the coastal enclave city of Gaza to sew and embroider facemasks for the coming Christmas.

Decorated with Santa Claus, Christmas trees, reindeers, and some Palestinian symbols, some of those facemasks are even exported to European countries, including Germany, France and Britain, said Suhad Saidam, owner of the workshop.

"It is the first time that they allowed me to sell my products on European markets," the 43-year-old mother of four told Xinhua.

"Those facemasks are carrying our traditional Palestinian identity," Saidam said, adding that they will offer the people around the world a glimpse into the Palestinian history.

This year, due to the raging COVID-19 pandemic, Christians around the world will celebrate the Christmas by taking precautionary measures. Wearing facemask is an effective way to prevent the infection with the deadly infectious virus.

"In such days in the past, we used to embroider traditional Palestinian clothes for women in Palestine, who can show off their special dresses on festivals and feasts," Saidam explained.

"But because of the spread of the pandemic, the situation has changed as the orders have declined. So now, instead of making embroidered clothes, we produce facemasks that have become the most efficient tool that keeps the disease at bay," she said.

For Saidam, producing special facemasks that are suitable for celebrations is also an innovative way to continue her business.

Saidam advertises her embroidered facemasks on Facebook by posting their pictures, which has helped boost the demand.

The Gazans are usually prevented from exporting their products abroad, as they live under the tight Israeli blockade since 2007, right after the Hamas seized control over the Gaza Strip.

However, the facemasks as special products are allowed to be exported to overseas, Saidam said.

In 2017, Saidam opened her workshop for sewing and embroidering. At the start, she employed only four women, all with cancers. They came up with the idea during receiving treatment in an Israeli hospital.

Now, she employs nearly 40 women workers at her workshop.

Nour al-Namlah, who joined the workshop two years ago, expressed her happiness that her products were allowed to be exported to European countries, saying that it encouraged her to work harder.

Those women are allowed to work from their homes, which gives them an opportunity to earn money without leaving their kids or families during the day.

The facemasks are sold for three to five U.S. dollars each in Gaza's markets, and for more than 20 dollars in the West Bank and the rest of the world, said Saidam.

She expressed her hope to open branches in Arab countries, as well as some European countries, to expand her business, while promoting the traditional Palestinian identity. Enditem

Follow China.org.cn on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from China.org.cnMobileRSSNewsletter