Every Monday and Thursday, 41-year-old Samira Abu Amra crouches next to a large pot which she places over firewood and waits for it to boil.
The Palestinian, who lives in the Zeitoun neighbourhood of Gaza City, cooks 200 litres of food twice a week to feed her local community who are living in poverty as a result of the economic situation in the enclave, Israel’s continued siege of the Strip and the damage caused by numerous Israeli bombardments and wars.
The project is funded by women in Kuwait who Samira says “came to me and asked, ‘Um Muhammed, how would you feel about doing this for charity, without payment?’ and … I accepted the proposal as something good for people.”
“Honestly, people really liked the idea and they accepted it. They felt it really helped them in their lives,” she tells MEMO. “They gave me a push, and made me want to continue even more.”
“People are living through very difficult conditions, and the levels of poverty in the area we are in, are high. People wouldn’t accept this idea unless they are in need… It helped them with a great need they had… they say it helped them live their lives.”
When the project was launched, Samira served 25-30 families, she now provides for more than 40 families. It costs just 40 Jordanian dinars ($60) to cook on any given day and Samira worries the number of those who come to her for food will continue to grow as a result of the increase in poverty in the area.
She hopes to have a dedicated kitchen and be able to set up a centre to support others who are also in need in the area.