Location: Gaza- Palestine
Restrictions: A24 Clients
Diabetics in Gaza, who exceeds 100,000 people, according to health officials, struggle to find proper products that allow them to control their sugar levels, however, after the launch of Gaza’s first healthy food store around two months ago, they and those who follow a healthy diet were able to find varied items of delicious and healthy food.
The store sells all products including; biscuits, sweets, and other baked items, which are sugar-free.
Hana Al-Wakeel, an optometrist, founded the “Healthy Home” store, based on her interest in cooking and the fact that diabetics face a severe lack of products.
Al-Wakeel sweetens her products with stevia, which is one of the sugar substitutes allowed for diabetics by the US Food and Drug Administration. She hopes that her project encourages the culture of healthy nutrition.
- (SOUNDBITE) Hanaa Al-Wakeel – Owner of the Healthy Home store:
“My idea is to provide people with what they don’t have, the most important of which are homemade items such as basbousa, Mabshoorah, Cinnabon, cupcakes, and cookies. All of these are made at home with very high calories, being full of white sugar and syrup, so many people can’t have them, so I wanted to make all these items healthily. Some people cut off the use of sugar in Gaza and decided to live a healthy life, some play sports, others are on diet, some have diabetes, and some children have diabetes too, so these categories were the ones targeted by the idea. I did not expect that there would be a turnout, I thought it would take a year or two to struggle for the project and people understand what healthy living is.”
- (SOUNDBITE) Hanaa Al-Wakeel – Owner of the Healthy Home store):
“People liked it. Many people are diabetic, in Gaza, most people get diabetic after the age of 50, it is normal, some people maintain their sugar level and do not want to take insulin at a high rate, they want to eat healthily, so they were very happy that they found something that does not raise sugar, they enjoy eating sweets. Most of the products are made of 90% oats, and the rest 10% wheat flour, Stevia sugar, and the oils are either coconut or avocado oils because they are not hydrogenated oils.”
- (SOUNDBITE) Hossam al-Jamali – Customer:
“Every day I come to the health store, I eat healthy food from them, it gives energy and makes one play sports. Biscuits and sugar are healthy; it gives you fitness and makes you active. It makes one come back to buy again. It helped diabetics because they come and buy from here. The place is very healthy, and helps people get fit, energetic, and active.”
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