Humanity Voice - They are back: Kerosene antique cookers alternatives for missing domestic gas



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  They are back: Kerosene antique cookers alternatives for missing domestic gas
Gaza, Mohammad Abu Qamar, - 2008-12-01

The siege took Gazans tens of years back to the times when people used to rely on kerosene cookers for cooking, more likely to 60 years ago when Palestinian refugees were expelled into tents.

Nowadays, electricity and domestic gas used for cooking are missing in Gaza's houses, many clay ovens are back as well and today these kerosene cookers are new features in many Gazans' houses once again.

The only alternative

Abu Karam, a Falafel shop owner starts his day early after several attempts of turning the kerosene cooker on since there is not enough gas for cooking purposes in the Gaza Strip.

Abu Karam had to choose one of the two options; to either shut down his business and become unemployed and perhaps wait for some hopes that borders will reopen and gas will be let in, or to use the kerosene cooker he put away long time ago to operate his business.

The cooker Abu Karam has is to a certain degree similar to the domestic diesel cookers used at houses but his is bigger, every morning he has to fill this cooker with kerosene and manually press on the button so as to push in the kerosene to go up.

This takes more time and effort from him if compared with the domestic regular gas cookers. Nevertheless, he prefers to rely on the kerosene cookers to sitting at home, doing nothing and not feeding his family.

Many other Falafel shop owners had to close their business as gas did not enter the Strip for 3 consecutive weeks.

Abu Karam has to keep an eye on the kerosene cooker lest it goes off and he has to switch it on again which is not an easy thing to do.

Moreover, bread shortages in the Strip have crippled the work of many other Falafel shops.

Looking for kerosene cookers

Abu Moneer spent much time looking for the kerosene cooker that he kept on the ceiling of his house, in a place he specified for antique and no longer used items, his search for a moment looked like a lost treasure quest.

A smile drew on his face when he could finally find it as it is his currant life-saving when he said:" you are back!"

Bad conditions in the Gaza Strip are taking Gazans back to the old simple life; Umm-Ismael goes back in time when she recalls:" we never knew gas cookers in the past, in fact we got by with kerosene cookers and clay stoves."

This old lady tries to teach her daughter and younger housewives who never used these cookers before how to use these kerosene cookers who some of them refuse to work on, but eventually they will have to use it.

Umm-Ismael said that the siege has taken them back to the old times and made them use things that have disappeared from the Palestinian community, things that were replaced with high-tech tools.

What makes the situation worse is that now not only gas is missing very recently kerosene has started to decrease from the market itself which forced many Palestinians do rely on diesel as a third alternative.

Fixing damaged kerosene cookers is a new task many Gazans has to perform; it is very common to witness lines piling up at fixing stores as people are trying to use these again. Ironically, old men who never thought kerosene cookers will be back again, started to earn little money out of fixing damaged kerosene antique cookers.

This is the last trend in Gaza, the last thing to be replaced recently, so now we are waiting for the latest to come yet!

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