‘We Must Stay Strong’: A Popular Gaza Restaurant Back in Business

Al-Sousi restaurant in Gaza city is back in business. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Mahmoud Ajjour – Gaza

As thousands of Gaza youth took to the streets to clear debris and wash the streets from the evidence of Gaza’s latest war, business owners were also back, some assessing the damage, while others slowly reopening the shops.

The Palestine Chronicle met with a restaurant owner in the Remal neighborhood in Gaza City. His once-popular joint is located at the Palestine Crossing. This is what he had to say:

“My name is Mohamed Sa’id al Sousi, I am one of five brothers who own this small restaurant. It was left for us by our father who worked here starting in 1975.

“Our restaurant is located near the Al-Shrouq residential tower, in the Remal neighborhood in Gaza, which was bombed by Israel in two separate military strikes.

“When the first strike happened, half of the tower collapsed. I went running to check on my restaurant, then the second strike leveled the whole tower to the ground. I was left with two shrapnel in my legs. 

“Our business was thriving before the war and the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. 12 people worked here and 12 families were reliant on the income we generated here. Then the lockdown happened. We tried to stay positive and thought that the lockdown was an opportunity to help us remodel our restaurant. We spent much of our income on fixing it. We bought a new sign, new shelves, a new machine, and we repainted the whole place.

But in the Israeli strikes, which devastated the whole area, much of our properties were destroyed. But thanks to Allah for everything good or bad in this life. 

“And now we are back, not only because we need to make a living but also because we refuse to be humiliated. We must always stay strong. My father’s restaurant began over 45 years ago. My brothers and I will make sure that it stays in business for many years to come.”

(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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