• Rafah

  • Monday, January 29, 2024 at 10:38:34 AM
    Last Update : Monday, January 29, 2024 at 10:38 AM

Displaced Palestinians Make Tents Out of Sacks to Face Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza

(AWP) - With the escalation of conflict in Khan Younis and the central region of the Gaza Strip, displaced Palestinian refugees, desperate for shelter in the southern city of Rafah, are buying makeshift burlap tents made by tailor, Majdi Aziz.

Aziz, a displaced man in the al-Nijma neighbourhood, came up with an innovative solution by recycling fodder sacks using a wheel from his young son’s bicycle to power his sewing machine, which had stopped working due to power outages.

He said, “These are ordinary burlap sacks which I turn into tents. The new tents are more expensive than this. The people save their money and buy tents made out of this. We thought of this method because there are no tents here. Tents are very rarely sent here.”

He explained, “We make these to provide an alternative to the tents. We help to shelter people and at the same time we make a living.”

Majdi’s idea was welcomed and encouraged by citizens who found it gave them the means to buy their own tents.

Ibrahim al-Raffati, a displaced Palestinian in Rafah, said, “Necessity breeds innovation and this is one of the Palestinian people’s innovations. This was made because of pressing needs. There are no tents or houses. People sleep on the streets. The whole world is turning a blind eye while we as displaced people are in a very bad situation and are suffering. There is no privacy for women and children.”

He noted that Majdi’s tents have offered a solution to many people after new tents became too expensive.

Raffati noted, “Ordinary people come to this kind man and buy makeshift tents because they can afford their prices. They do not have money to buy tents for 1,000, 2,000 or 3,000 shekels now. They have an alternative for 100 or 120 shekels.”

More than 1.5 million displaced people in Rafah live in makeshift tents, according to Palestinian and UN officials.