We decided to interview a local shopkeeper on his thoughts and feelings about living under
occupation. Ahmed lives in Meet Ahmad
Ahmad lives in the central part of Gaza, near the sea and runs a convenience store with the
assistance of his family members including his brother and cousin. His business relies on customers from
nearby hotels including tourists and local residents. He studied at college and is qualified as a business
secretary however with the lack of jobs in Gaza he is now responsible for running the store.
How does it feel to live under a siege in Gaza?
Ahmad: After nearly 6 years it is becoming increasingly normal. To be honest I dot really think
about it any more. I realize its not normal but this is how I cope.
In what way does it affect your business
Ahmad: It affects how I buy
in goods and run the business because customers come in for specific items. If I do not have these items in stock
as a result of the restrictions then my customers may come back a 2ndor
3rdtime but after that they will shop elsewhere.
You mentioned prior to the interview that you have studied business, how does
this affect you?
Ahmad: I am educated as a business secretary however because the situation in Gaza is so bad and
there are no jobs I cannot work in the profession I am trained. Its for this reason I run the family shop
with the help of other members in the family. Even if people are educated there are no jobs. Also my business
is affected by the lack of tourists.
How long ago has it been since tourists stopped
Ahmad: At the beginning of the siege there were some tourists but now people are less likely to come
because Gaza has turned from a sage to an occupation and a siege. It is like a war zone. People a from
outside are put off from coming into Gaza and this has affected my business.
You mentioned earlier that you normalized the situation here in Gaza. It this
because it's a coping mechanism for you?
Ahmad: Yes it has a psychological effect on me especially as one minute we have hope and the next
there is none because one minutes its normal when they open and then they close the borders. One of the
coping mechanisms I used is following my faith as a way of staying strong and hopeful.
Do you feel hopeful that things might get better in the
Ahmad: Because of the unrest especially with Egypt I believe that in the long run things will be
beneficial for Gaza. That problem its that if Egypt close the borders then it means that Israel resorts to
sending in more things and yet if the borders are open Israel sends less. However I would rather have the
borders open with Egypt because its better for the people of Gaza. I also feel hopeful because I am not alone
and everyone around me is in the same situation. If I was alone and had no family I would feel hopeless but
because they are around it gives me some hope.