- Title: Palestinian graduate hits West Bank road on food truck
- Date: 10th January 2021
- Summary: RAMALLAH, WEST BANK (RECENT - DECEMBER 24, 2020) (REUTERS) CRISPY WAFFLE FRY OWNER OF FOOD TRUCK, DIALA QAWASMI, FRYING POTATOES MACHINE CUTTING POTATO QAWASMI PUTTING SPICES ON TORNADO POTATO QAWASMI PUTTING TORNADO POTATO INSIDE FRYING PAN RAMALLAH, WEST BANK (JANUARY 7, 2021) (REUTERS) UPWARD DRONE SHOT SHOWING DIALA INSIDE HER FOOD TRUCK RAMALLAH, WEST BANK (RECENT - DECEMBER 24, 2020) (REUTERS) SIGN READING (Arabic): "EAT POTATOES!" (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) OWNER OF 'EAT POTATOES!' FOOD TRUCK, DIALA QAWASMI, SAYING: "Two months before graduating from university, I was thinking about the (economic) situation and the coronavirus lockdown, especially because I studied media and communications. This is a field where unemployment is already high, so imagine how it will be with the coronavirus lockdown situation? I was thinking about how to become financially independent and be responsible for myself, and I had the idea to do my own project." RAMALLAH, WEST BANK (RECENT - DECEMBER 26, 2020) (REUTERS) (MUTE) DRONE SHOT OF DIALA WORKING INSIDE HER FOOD TRUCK RAMALLAH, WEST BANK (RECENT - DECEMBER 24, 2020) (REUTERS) DIALA GIVING MAN TORNADO POTATO MAN EATING TORNADO POTATO WHILE WALKING AWAY DIALA POURING KETCHUP IN BOTTLE KETCHUP (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) OWNER OF 'EAT POTATOES!' FOOD TRUCK, DIALA QAWASMI, SAYING: "For sure, because I love potatoes and because of the coronavirus crisis. I am someone who really loves potatoes and when I travel abroad, I eat a lot of different kinds of potatoes that don't exist here. So I decided to make these kinds here, so I can eat them without having to travel. Whether the coronavirus is present or not, I don't have to travel to eat them. I decided to make them here for me and for people in order to try it." RAMALLAH, WEST BANK (DECEMBER 26,2020) (REUTERS) (MUTE) AERIAL OF CUSTOMER STANDING OUTSIDE OF FOOD TRUCK AND WAITING FOR FOOD RAMALLAH, WEST BANK (JANUARY 7, 2021) (REUTERS) DIALA SERVING FRIED POTATOES TO CLIENT FRIED POTATOES / DIALA HANDING THEM OVER (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) RAMALLAH RESIDENT AND CUSTOMER, MOHAMMED AL-NATOUR, SAYING: "To be honest, these projects are supporting the youth and the new generation. There are new ideas and they are good for the street (economy)." RAMALLAH, WEST BANK (RECENT - DECEMBER 24, 2020) (REUTERS) MAN CARRYING BAGS OF FROZEN POTATOES DIALA GETTING FROZEN POTATOES FROZEN POTATO BAGS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) OWNER OF 'EAT POTATOES!' FOOD TRUCK, DIALA QAWASMI, SAYING: "People are surprised that a girl sells in a food truck, they come to see me work, 'what does she look like', 'how does she parks here'. They have many questions. But I received a lot of love and respect from people. To be honest, I was not expecting that, in a society that doesn't accept these things, I would find so much respect and support, and a lot of love." RAMALLAH, WEST BANK (JANUARY 7, 2021) (REUTERS) CHILDREN BUYING FRENCH FRIES RAMALLAH, WEST BANK (RECENT - DECEMBER 24, 2020) (REUTERS) DIALA MONITORING POTATOES IN FRYING PAN QAWASMI PUTTING SPICES ON TORNADO POTATO RAMALLAH, WEST BANK (RECENT - DECEMBER 26, 2020) (REUTERS) (MUTE) UPWARD DRONE SHOT SHOWING DIALA INSIDE HER FOOD TRUCK DOING A THUMBS UP
- Embargoed: 24th January 2021 12:29
- Keywords: COVID-19 Food truck Graduate Palestinians Unemployment
- Location: RAMALLAH, WEST BANK
- City: RAMALLAH, WEST BANK
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Human-Led Feature,Human-Led Stories,Middle East
- Reuters ID: LVA001DUMEL3P
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Tornado potatoes, waffle fries, and the regular French fries attract curious potato lovers to the new food truck opened by young university graduate, Diala Qawasmi, in the streets of Ramallah.
"I was thinking about how to become financially independent" the 23 year-old media and communications graduate said, adding that she started to worry about unemployment before graduation already, amid tough economic conditions worsened by the coronavirus crisis.
People were surprised at first to see a girl man a food truck, but then showed a lot of respect for her and her enterprise, Qawasmi said.
She is now able to make a living selling her favorite potato kinds and dreams of opening other food trucks all over the Westbank.
The coronavirus crisis and prolonged lockdowns in the West Bank have led to a severe economic fallout, business owners say.
The cash-strapped Palestinian Authority's economy has been hit hard by the pandemic and by its refusal to accept tax revenue collected on its behalf by Israel, a protest measure against Israel's plan to annex West Bank land.
A United Nations agency warned on September that the pandemic was compounding dire economic conditions in the Palestinian territories, where 2019 unemployment was 33 percent and GDP per capita is projected to fall by 3 percent to 4.5 percent this year.
The Palestinian Ministry of health announced that the total number of infections reached 165,250 cases including 1,735 deaths in the Palestinian Occupied Territories by Sunday, January 10.
(Production: Ismail Khadder, Adel Abu Nehmeh, Yosri Aljamal, Roleen Tafakji)
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