The new school year is due to start in a few days and Gaza’s tailors and seamstresses are making about 20 per cent of the school clothes. The rest are imported.
The owners of the factories are complaining. One of them, Khaled Saqer, told MEMO that sales barely cover the cost of the uniforms. Although the prices are the same and haven’t changed, there are new burdens, such as higher costs of living and higher wages. The main change that the owners are experiencing now is the use of more fuel — and thus higher production costs —since they rarely have electricity and so have to rely on generators for several days every week.
Eid Al-Adha coincides with the new school year, and the Palestinians in Gaza are suffering due to the new salary cuts enforced by the Palestinian Authority on its staff as well as Gaza government employees, who only receive 50 per cent of their official salaries. Families are forced to sacrifice the purchase of new clothes for the Eid celebration and only buy school supplies and uniforms, as they are more important. They have even had to cut down to one school uniform per child instead of the customary two.