Muslim women spread Christmas cheer in Gaza

GAZA (Reuters) – Muslim gals in the Palestinian Gaza Strip have been hand-crafting items for the approaching Orthodox Xmas as aspect of a challenge to empower a classic neighborhood.

Palestinian women wearing facial area veil, niqab, make Santa-themed Xmas toys in the northern Gaza Strip December 29, 2019. Photograph taken December 29, 2019. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Their Santa Claus dolls, toy Christmas trees and purple-and-white puppets appear into substantial demand above the holiday getaway year in Gaza, Bethlehem and Italy.

Nevertheless most of Gaza’s 2 million populace are Muslim, around 1,000 are Christian, generally Greek Orthodox, who rejoice Christmas on Jan. 7.

“Our prophet inspired us to respect all religions and we like to sign up for with them in celebrating their day,” reported the group’s item designer Laila Tayeh.

Tayeh and colleagues are part of the Zaina Cooperative Affiliation, performing in a Gaza local community that often restricts women’s movement exterior the house.

Haneen Alsammak, the association’s government manager, claimed the project experienced given women of all ages education in carpentry and tailoring, and enabled them to go away their houses to get the job done and unfold some Christmas cheer.

“This is a message of like towards Christians inside of and outside Gaza,” she mentioned.

Gaza is operate by the Islamist Hamas motion, which is specified a terrorist group by the West and neighboring Israel from which it has fought three wars in the previous decade.

Citing stability factors, Israel restricts motion in and out of Gaza and maintains a naval blockade of the coastal strip where the economy suffers from significant unemployment and poverty.

In 2018, only 26% of Gaza women of all ages participated in the workforce, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.

Writing by Nidal al-Mughrabi Editing by Maayan Lubell and Andrew Cawthorne

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