The run-down building off Yefet Street in Jaffa does not look as though anything promising could come out of it. But as the saying goes, looks can be deceiving.

Muffled sounds of laughter fill the drab staircase. The third-floor landing opens to an office with cheerful peach-colored rooms and a large balcony facing the Mediterranean Sea. A group of women sits on the balcony sharing recipes, and from inside the buzz of sewing machines can be heard.

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