Mohammed al-Dabba drives his buggy at the beach of Gaza City, Dec. 25, 2019. After 18 months of hard work, Mohammed al-Dabba, a middle-aged Palestinian man from the city of Gaza, managed to build his own off-road dune buggy.(Photo by Mohammed Dahman/Xinhua)
by Sanaa Kamal
GAZA, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- After 18 months of hard work, Mohammed al-Dabba, a middle-aged Palestinian man from the city of Gaza, managed to build his own off-road dune buggy.
Every Friday, the former police officer stays on the beach of Gaza city, where he drifts daringly through the sandy shores with his buggy, attracting beach goers to take photos of him with phone cameras.
"Since my early childhood, I had been dreaming about driving a dune buggy and joining international competitions," al-Dabba said, adding that having such a race car was almost impossible since Israel bans the entry of such automobiles into the Gaza Strip.
Israel has been imposing a tight blockade on the Gaza Strip after Hamas seized control of the territory in 2007.
Before manufacturing his buggy car, al-Dabba bought a remote-control toy buggy car through China's Ali Express e-commerce platform.
"I carefully observed how this toy buggy car moved on bumpy land and how it was able to absorb shocks. Then I studied the structure of the toy car," he said.
After learning carefully about the design of the toy, he started collecting auto parts to build his real dune buggy.
At a workshop turned from a small room at his home, al-Dabba started to build the dune buggy's body structure including the shockproof springs, frame, cockpit and shock absorbers.
However, al-Dabba faced some difficulties such as a lack of basic materials. He bought sturdy grip tires and an engine from Israel, because they were not available in Gaza.
The dune buggy has an engine of 160 horsepower and is able to run at a speed of up to 260 km per hour.
However, al-Dabba is unable to obtain an official license for the dune buggy from Hamas ministry of transportation.
"The requirements for obtaining such a license are almost impossible to meet," he complained.
Al-Dabba wishes that the Palestinian officials could lend more support and encourage young people to unleash their creativity in Gaza. "Because this will definitely serve our country and people," he said.
"The high rate of poverty, unemployment and psychological pressure deprived us the chance to live in stability like the other young around the world," he said.
The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics said in a recent report that the unemployment rate in the Gaza Strip reached 52 percent. About 83 percent of the populations live below the poverty line.