‘Twin Fish and Kitchen’: Identical Palestinian Twins Keeping the Faith in Gaza – PHOTO GALLERY

Khamis and Mahmoud Bakr are two 27-year-old twin brothers who own a shop in the Nuseirat refugee camp. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Mahmoud Ajjour – Gaza

In a refugee camp in Gaza, two identical twins decided that Gaza would always be their home, despite the Israeli siege and the deteriorating economic conditions. 

Khamis and Mahmoud Bakr are two 27-year-old twin brothers who own a shop in the Nuseirat refugee camp, in the central Gaza Strip. 

They are inseparable. Their shop is called ‘Twin Fish and Kitchen,’ they sell all kinds of fresh fish and crabs.

“We inherited the fishing profession from our parents and grandparents,” Khamis told The Palestine Chronicle.

“They lived in the Shati refugee camp and they were the most prominent fishermen in the region,” he added, referring to the Beach camp, the home of Palestine’s bravest and most skilled fishermen. 

Many of these fishermen inherited their jobs from their parents and grandparents who became refugees during the Zionist takeover of Palestine in 1947-48.  

The twins’ father is also a cook, which led to their decision to open a family business that combines fishing and dining. 

The specialty of the business is the crab, which is one of the main dishes in Gaza during the fall. 

With a fishing season starting in September and lasting for three to four months, the crab is considered one of the most popular Palestinian seafood dishes.

“There are many seafood restaurants in Gaza, so we resorted to the Nuseirat refugee camp because it is densely populated,” Mahmoud explained. 

Khamis and Mahmoud made a clear choice to leave the Strip. 

Despite the hardship of life and the difficult economic situation in Gaza, which is crippled by a hermetic siege imposed by Israel starting in 2007, the two brothers decided not to follow the lead of other young Gazans, who are tempted by the idea of emigrating. 

Instead, they decided to launch their project in the besieged Strip and to keep the legacy of their family alive. 

“It was not easy to open this kind of business,” Khamis told us. “We were young and we needed capital.” 

They also needed manpower as the process of catching fish, transporting, processing, cooking, catering and clearing is not an easy one. 

The key to success, according to the twin brothers is having faith, believing in oneself, love of family and supporting of the community. 

Judging by the number of customers of the ‘Twin Fish and Kitchen, the project is already a success. 

(All Photos: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle) 

– Mahmoud Ajjour is a Gaza-based photojournalist. He is the Palestine Chronicle’s correspondent in the Gaza Strip.

(The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.)
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