Feature: 1st fishing-boat restaurant offers new entertainment lifestyle in Gaza

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-21 00:37:37|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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GAZA, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- On a large fishing boat on the tip of land that stretches a few meters into the water of Gaza City beach, Hana al-Jarousha, a young woman enjoyed herself in the first leisure restaurant of its kind in the blockaded Gaza Strip.

The fishing boat, whose owners decided to transform it into a restaurant to attract residents of Gaza, is 20 meters long and eight meters wide.

The restaurant, known as "Lulu Rose," has a roof that can hold up to 100 customers. Its spacious backyard, featuring a spectacular view of the ocean and the fresh scent of sea breeze, can accommodate around 250 customers from the city.

Jarousha, a media professional in Gaza, is impressed by the idea of setting up a restaurant on a fish boat.

"It is a source of comfort and leisure for its visitors and customers," she told Xinhua, "it is my third time coming to the boat restaurant to get inspired in my poetry writing."

Mervat Hammad, a friend of Jarousha as well as a local physician, is also fond of the boat restaurant.

She noted that entertainment in the blockade coastal enclave is very limited due to the poor economic conditions, making the boat restaurant quite a unique idea.

"The most attractive place for the two million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip is the sea," Hammad told Xinhua, adding that the boat restaurant with an overlook of the sea also attracted her friends.

Another customer Mahmoud Zaqout told Xinhua that he had found the restaurant a new leisure option for Gaza residents.

He was very excited that his family of seven would have a meal together on this beautiful boat. He said such projects represent an opportunity to defy the electricity crisis in Gaza.

"The boat has attracted a lot of customers looking for changes in spending leisure time here, as the beach of Gaza had been polluted by swimmers," said a restaurant staff.

Mohamed Tartouri, owner of the restaurant, told Xinhua the boat, on which the restaurant was built, had been anchored immobile for years in the Gaza seaport.

"The big fishing boat did not sail because of Israel's restrictions imposed on the work of fishermen in the Gaza Strip and due to the weakness of their business as fishermen," Tartouri said, referring to the restrictions posed by Israeli naval forces of shrinking the fishing area to six miles into the waters of the Gaza Strip.

This has left a large number of big fishing boats abandoned at Gaza's seaport after their owners stopped sailing, as the shrinking revenues could not cover the large operational costs.

For Tartouri, the Lulu Rose boat embodied the slogan "inside the water but fixed on land" as an expression of the current difficult situation in the Gaza Strip.

Israel has imposed a tight blockade on the Gaza Strip since Hamas Islamists seized control of the enclave in mid-June 2007 after rounds of internal fighting with forces loyal to the Palestinian National Authority.

The conditions of the blockade and the closure of the border crossings lead to the Gaza Strip's dependence on domestic tourism, which is characterized by a large spread of investment projects in restaurants and resorts.

Economists from Gaza argue that creative ideas can push the economy to grow and develop at a time when traditional tourism facilities are closing because of the ongoing economic recession.

The boat's owners are aspired to develop their project to construct two more floors to increase its capacity by 300 people, and hope to sail the boat underwater with the customers in the future.