|Al-Gayyar chocolate store, Gaza, Nov. 25, 2015. (photo by Mohammed Nehro)|
In September, Gaza celebrated the grand opening of the al-Gayyar chocolate mall selling chocolate from around the world.
Owner Deeb al-Gayyar, in an interview with Al-Monitor said
“Specific [chocolate] types used to enter Gaza through the tunnels. After allowing them to enter through the Karam Abu Salem [Kerem Shalom] commercial crossing, we started importing more types of chocolate from various countries. Because of the improved trade relations with Turkey, traders find it easier to import Turkish chocolate [brands], such as Solen, Ulker, Bifa, Alpella, Elit, which now dominate the [Gaza] market.”
The Al-Gayyar Chocolate Company alone imports an average of 150 tons of chocolate a month for the Gaza market. Its not the only confectionery in the territory.
From Al- Monitor
Many new shops have specialized in chocolate for years, such as Bonboniara, which opened in 2011 on al-Wahda Street in central Gaza City. Its owner, Ahmed al-Muzaini, said, “My father was impressed with the idea of chocolate shops that spread in the West Bank during his visit there. So we decided to open this shop [in Gaza], which was met with great demand because of our unique innovation in packaging chocolates at various prices. … The economic situation affects demand, which increases during special events. Despite that, the prices are affordable, but still some people don’t visit such shops, while others visit three times a week to buy chocolate.”
Khaled Subeih, the owner of On the Line, which opened in March on Al-Jalaa Street in central Gaza City, believes that “specialty shops selling chocolates have changed the culture of the people in Gaza, who like new things. Chocolate has become a key commodity for people of all ages, economic status, and for various social occasions.”
After all, nothing says "open air prison" quite like gourmet chocolates.