Watch: Gaza merchants find new market in buying and selling of recycled gold

A small workshop in Gaza city keeps a fading jewellery business running by recycling old gold jewellery.

March 11, 2015 12:32
2 minute read.

Gazans recycle gold jewellery to boost business

Gazans recycle gold jewellery to boost business

In a small workshop in Gaza city, Jabr Faheed, keeps a fading jewellery business running by recycling old gold jewellery.

Faheed buys jewellery from people who try to secure cash for their daily expenses in the Gaza strip.

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"The situation is tough, so, women are selling their bracelets to spend the money for food. So they sell it to buy their needs," says Faheed.

Faheed then recycles the jewelry to make new and fashionable bracelets, necklaces, and rings.

The recycled jewellery is then sold back to Gaza's market.
Faheed family started their business in 1967.

The family owns a gold workshop and a jewellery store, where it sells the recycled products.

There are five workshops in Gaza that recycles jewellery.

Goldsmiths used to get supplies of jewellery to design new products from Hebron before the blockade.

But when Israel tightened its blockade on the strip after Hamas took over in 2007, things have changed.

"We used to deliver our products to Hebron and buy from there. Everything was fine. We were allowed to import and export through Nahal Oz (crossing) and it was easy. But now the Israelis are preventing us from importing and exporting," said Faheed.

Some goldsmiths say that amidst the hardship in Gaza, jewellery is no longer people's priority, even when it comes to wedding occasions.

"Today, people can't afford food, not only they can't buy gold but even they can't buy food. A worker that actually has a job makes 20 to 30 shekel ($4.98 to $7.46 ) (per day) which is not enough to feed a family, and not enough to bring gasoline to have electricity in his house," said Ishaq Faheed, owner of a jewellery shop.

"Even today people who get married, in the weddings you see in the city, 70% or 80% of them get married without buying gold," Faheed added.

War in Gaza will contribute to a reversal of seven years of growth in the Palestinian economy according to the World Bank.

The report said the downturn was a result of the 50-day war between Israeli forces and militants in Gaza, restrictions on the flow of goods into the enclave by Israel and Egypt and a drop in foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority.

Last year, neighboring Egypt caved in many of the underground smuggling tunnels --once a lifeline to Gaza's population -- that used to run between Gaza and Egypt, taking the economy down with them.

Unemployment reached 38.5 percent at the end of last year, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, and many factories and businesses in Gaza have stopped working, while others have lowered their output or laid off workers.

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