Palestine –Architect produces wooden products as creative outlet and additional source of income

6

Location: Gaza, Palestine

Language: Arabic

Duration: 00:05:39

Voice: Natural

Source: A24 Gaza

Restriction: A24 subscribers

Date: 16/07/2022

Storyline:

A Gazan architect handcrafts unique decor, toys, and household utensils using firewood from citrus, almond, and olive trees.

Mohamed Helles combines traditional wood carving and uses modern computer sculpting tools to produce one-of-a-kind pieces.

He’s the first to produce some of these wooden kitchen utensils in Gaza – meeting local market needs and helping reduce dependence on imports for items like Eid cookie molds.

However, he said frequent multi-hour blackouts and the inability to export his products outside the Gaza Strip because of border restrictions are significant challenges preventing him from developing his business.

The architect told A24 News Agency that despite the harsh living conditions, Gazans are developing their capacities for industry and creativity.

Shot list:

  • Soundbite (Mohamed Helles – architect and owner of a handicraft workshop):

“Making wooden crafts has been my hobby since I was a child. After I graduated from the School of Architecture, I started my own business. We bring wood from different sources; some of them are 100% local like tree wood. We use both new and reclaimed wood in our work due to the country’s conditions. We choose the pieces appropriate to the design we make. I started my project ten years ago, starting with hand tools and then gradually buying electrical machines. One of the main obstacles I face is the constant power cuts, which prevent us from producing the quantities we need. The shortage of raw materials is another difficulty we face.”

  • Soundbite (Mohamed Helles – architect and owner of a handicraft workshop):

“Some finished products are displayed here in the workshop, while others are packaged and sent directly to customers. We produce a diversity of products including kitchen utensils, such as cutting boards and cake molds, in addition to shield trophies, billboards, and toys. Our market is local inside the Gaza Strip. We hope to be able to export our products because it is an additional and important source of income, along with my job as an architect.”

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