Fairy Gazamother: Cinderella car makes it to ball

Fairy Gazamother: Cinderella car makes it to ball
3 min read
15 May, 2017
Meet the Cinderella car – Gaza’s innovative answer to the Israeli blockade making weddings increasingly difficult
A moment of luxury in besieged Gaza, couples can book the 'Cinderella Car'

Tommy Lasorda once said, "The difference between the impossible and possible lies in a man's determination."

Lasorda's saying can definitely be applied on the coastal Gaza Strip that impresses the world with its inventions and achievements while being under a decade-long siege. Since 2006, Palestinians living in Gaza have been telling the world that they live no matter what, through the determination they have.

From singing to drawing and from writing to inventing, Gaza delivers a message to the world that it exists despite the ongoing siege.

Farha, joy, is a Palestinian initiative engaged in helping to facilitate marriage in the enclave. As no special day is complete without being sent off in style, a limousine was created from parts collected from five second-hand cars.

Salama el-Owadi, heading up Farha, and the inspiration behind the limousine project, explained how he tried to get a car like this into Gaza, only to find the expenses too high.

"Despite the high rate of the car, we tried to get the car into Gaza, but we were told that the Israeli occupation prevents these kind of cars to get in"

Israeli officials say that the blockade on the Strip is very important to prevent the importation of weapons and any other materials that could be used to make those weapons.

Responding to those obstacles, El-Owadi and his team decided to make this car in the Strip using the available facilities and car parts, finding a way to add happiness to Gaza.

For three months, a team including mechanics and engineers worked around a white Mercedes car non-stop. The final result was the unique limo, which Gaza’s residents affectionately call the 'Cinderella car.'

Cinderella Car

Adorned with hand-painted designs and styles, the Cinderella vehicle looks like a hybrid between a limousine and a spaceship, with a rounded big roof differentiating it from other cars in the Strip.

With a population largely dependent on humanitarian help, many youth find themselves in the position of being unable to marry. Unemployment in Gaza, considered the highest in the world, reached over 45% among males and 62% in females.

As a result, the Farha initiative seeks to help those looking to get married by offering those registered with them the Cinderella car for free on their special day.

The limousine can also be rented by Gazans at an affordable rate.

Yehya el-Daya, a mechanic who helped with the creation of the limo, said that engineers first showed him photos of a car in Europe, asking him if he could make such a car.

"Making this car took about three months as we waited for some parts to come from abroad. If we had those parts before, however, we would have made the car within fifteen days only," explained el-Daya.

The Cinderella car, which costs more than $21,000, is just one example of the determination the people of Gaza have despite the endless humanitarian and economic crises.

In facing the occupation and siege, Gaza's weapons remain patience, determination and happiness.

Mohammed Arafat holds a bachelor degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language and is preparing for a Masters in Peace and Conflict Studies. Author of, Still Living There, a book documenting Gaza's last war and its aftermath.

Opinions expressed in this article remain those of the author, and do not necessarily represent those of The New Arab, its editorial board or staff.