- Title: Feeling the heat: Basra ice cream sales drop as locals spend summer at home
- Date: 8th July 2020
- Summary: BASRA, IRAQ (JULY 2, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF ICE CREAM PROCESSED IN MACHINE VARIOUS OF WORKERS STANDING BY CONVEYOR BELT AND SORTING ICE CREAM (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER AT FUSTEKA FACTORY, SAYED AL-MOUSAWI, SAYING: "We distribute all over Iraq. I have my own cars and facilities. We are among the biggest producers of ice cream in Iraq, we can supply all provinces. But we are facing a big problem, the full curfew. Of course, transport is problematic, cars are not allowed to travel to other provinces such as Nasiriya, Amara, Baghdad, and all other Iraqi provinces. There are restrictions (on travel), it is forbidden.'' VARIOUS OF WORKERS SORTING ICE CREAM ALONG CONVEYOR BELT VARIOUS OF ICE CREAM BEING PROCESSED IN MACHINE AND PACKED VARIOUS OF WORKERS PACKAGING ICE CREAM ALONG CONVEYOR BELT (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER AT FUSTEKA FACTORY, SAYED AL-MOUSAWI, SAYING: "Because of the current circumstances and the financial crisis which we are passing through, Iraqi citizens focus on basic needs, much less on recreational goods. And today, ice cream is a recreational good." WORKER DISINFECTING FACTORY PREMISES OVERVIEW OF THE FACTORY AND WORKER MOVING BOXES OF PACKAGED ICE CREAM WORKERS TAKING ICE CREAM BOXES OFF OF CONVEYOR BELT (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER AT FUSTEKA FACTORY, SAYED AL-MOUSAWI, SAYING: "Ice cream sales dropped by 50 percent because of the closure of schools and because markets remain shut during the full lockdown. Even during partial curfews, most shops stay closed.'' FERRIS WHEEL VARIOUS OF CLOSED ENTERTAINMENT PARK IN BASRA VARIOUS OF NEARLY EMPTY CORNICHE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) BASRA RESIDENT, MUHAND KHALID, SAYING: ''We miss sitting (here at the corniche), we miss seeing other people, their beautiful faces. But this is God's command. This is a pandemic. We used to come to the corniche, eat ice cream, drink Pepsi, eat a sandwich. Also, we would see people. You feel better when you see others." CLOSED ICE CREAM STAND STRAY DOG WALKING THROUGH EMPTY BASRA STREET EMPTY BASRA STREET WITH CLOSED SHOPS YOUNG GIRL, BANIN AHMED KAMIL, WALKING INTO HER LIVING ROOM CARRYING ICE CREAM AND SITTING DOWN WITH HER SIBLINGS ON THE COUCH BANIN'S SISTER OPENING AN ICE CREAM AS BANIN IS HOLDING A YOUNG CHILD (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) YOUNG GIRL FROM BASRA, BANIN AHMED KAMIL, SAYING: "Because of coronavirus and the curfews, my father brings us sweets, ice cream, and other nice things that we eat at home. We never go out of the house." GIRLS EATING ICE CREAM BANIN EATING ICE CREAM WITH YOUNG CHILD ON HER LAP
- Embargoed: 22nd July 2020 14:36
- Keywords: Basra Coronavirus Entertainement Ice cream Iraq Lockdown Restrictions Summer
- Location: BASRA, IRAQ
- City: BASRA, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA001CLY91ZP
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The Fusteka ice cream factory in Basra had great plans for the summer. One of the largest ice cream producers in Iraq, the company was getting ready to distribute its 65 kinds of ice cream all over the country.
But with the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis and the restrictions imposed by authorities to curb the spread of the virus, their sales dropped by 50%, said Sayed Alaa al-Mousawi, the factory's public relations officer, adding that they had to reduce the number of working hours per worker and close three of their four factories.
Restrictions on travel between Iraqi provinces make it hard for them to sell their product beyond Basra. In Basra itself, the series of curfews and the closure of schools and entertainment venues are contributing to the drop in sales, especially given the economic crisis that is turning ice cream into a luxury product for many Iraqis, al-Mousawi said.
Basra's corniche, a popular spot for evening strolls especially during the hot summer months, is now almost empty of people. A Basra resident, Muhand Khalil, told Reuters that staying home is hard to bear. He misses the days when he could sit on the corniche, see friends and enjoy snacks and fresh air.
As families fear for their children, many young Basra residents spend their days at home. A young girl from Basra, Banin Ahmed Kamil, is not allowed to step out of the house because of the coronavirus. But her father brings her sweets to enjoy at home, she told Reuters while biting into a chocolate ice cream.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, Basra authorities imposed a series of full or partial curfews in the city. Currently, Basra is under a partial, night-time curfew during the week and a full lockdown on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
So far, the coronavirus claimed 2,685 lives and infected 64,701 people in Iraq, according to official figures issued by Iraqi health authorities on July 7.
(Production: Mohammed Aty, Mohammed Katfan, Charlotte Bruneau)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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