GAZA - For the third year in a row, Walid al-Hattab, prepares soup in the street where he lives and invites people and families to get their meals freely for Ramadan.
The soup – which is usually prepared with wheat, meat and onions – is distributed to the poor in the Palestinian tradition known as ‘tekiya.’
"Tekiya is a Palestinian tradition. We grew up and saw our parents following this habit throughout the past years, especially when the Palestinian people faced difficult conditions," said al-Hattab.
Al-Hattab said that the Israeli blockade has made living conditions ‘tough’ in the Gaza Strip.
Al-Hattab, who lives in eastern Gaza city, believes that he can help his neighbours to get their food freely and with dignity.
"Every day, we feed about 130 families and the average number of each family are 5 people," al-Hattab said.
"Most of the Palestinian people live under the poverty line because of the political conditions that affected negatively on the people's lives," he added.
In February, a report released by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics showed that the unemployment rate in the Gaza Strip reached 52 percent in 2018 compared with 44 percent in 2017.
The report also revealed that about 85 percent of the people in the Gaza Strip live under the poverty line, most of them live on food aids provided by the international donor institutions.
"We are not here to solve the economic problems ... but to help ourselves to restore our social unity," al-Hattab said.
"Gaza was a commercial corridor where traders used to stay for a rest and the residents used to do the tekiya to feed the passers-by," an elder man who was sitting in a chair near the bowl of the soup, told the young men who surrounded him.
Zeina, 14, said she lives in a poor family, and they fail to find the normal food most of the days.
"My family and I do not eat the meat at most, so I came here to get the soup and let my young brothers to eat the meat," she said while holding her small bowl and waiting for the soup.
Darul Ihsan Media Desk