- Title: Gaza jeweller struggles to sell Christmas gold
- Date: 10th December 2020
- Summary: VARIOUS OF MELAD TAKING PICTURE OF NECKLACE, THAT HAS 'MERRY CHRISTMAS' PENDANT AL-AMASH SHOWING HIS SOCIAL MEDIA PAGE
- Embargoed: 24th December 2020 10:24
- Keywords: Christmas Gaza Santa coronavirus health lockdown pandemic
- Location: GAZA CITY, GAZA
- City: GAZA CITY, GAZA
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Middle East,Religion/Belief,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA002D8FD9HJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Jeweler Melad Al-Amash's gold miniature Christmas trees and Santa Claus figurines are on holiday display again in Islamist-run Gaza but the coronavirus pandemic is keeping his traditional customers away.
Casting the items in his workshop, Amash sells his handicraft, including crosses, in Gaza's 500-year-old gold market, whose tiny shops line both sides of a narrow street covered with a vaulted roof.
"I learned this career from my father also I learned some skills from the internet and alone. My father inherited from my grandfather. We are doing this for a long time. the 27-year-old Palestinian Christian said in his shop.
Gaza's small Christian community of 1,000 usually snap up the Christmas-themed items, a sideline to his regular jewelry business.
But like many others in Gaza, they are feeling the economic sting of the health crisis and lockdowns. Amash, one of only 10 goldsmiths in the territory, said his business is down by half.
"Coronavirus pandemic affected everyone, there was no mingling between people , no social life. Also it affected people in the market, people are afraid to be in the market, to meet people, even afraid to buy and touch the pieces."
The pandemic has deepened economic hardship in Gaza, which is run by the Hamas militant group and is under blockade by Israel. Egypt also imposes border restrictions, citing, as does Israel, security concerns for the measures.
Gaza, where two million people live in densely populated neighborhoods, has logged more than 26,000 coronavirus cases and 162 deaths, mostly since August.
Its Christian population has declined by two-thirds over the past 15 years, a wave of emigration fueled by economic struggles and fighting between militant groups and Israel.
(Production: Mohammed Shanna/Roleen Tafakji/Suheir Sheikh)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2020. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: Footage contains computer game or software screenshots. User is responsible for obtaining additional clearances before publishing this clip.