by Sanaa Kamal
RAMALLAH, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- A Palestinian company opened its first-ever fashion house and exhibition center for leather clothes in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Saturday evening.
Called "Georgi C," the fashion house is a Palestinian brand belonging to the Three Arches Tourist Company in Bethlehem, said Maher Qanwati, the director of the company.
The company's clothes are made of leather produced from lamb's skin, which is imported from Italy. Qanwati believes his products will cater to the needs of all Palestinian people and tourists visiting the area.
"We seek to produce modern clothes," Qanwati added.
The attendees and customers were impressed by a fashion show held on Saturday evening.
"Opening a fashion house in Palestine means that we are able to use our capabilities in a way that benefits the citizens and our economy," Ramallah-based Muhammad Dwaikat told Xinhua.
"I feel proud that I can buy a product that bears the Palestinian identity and made by Palestinian hands," Dwaikat added.
The new project has provided job opportunities for hundreds of Palestinians who lost their work due to the outbreak of the coronavirus in the Palestinian territories, said Qanwati, who is in his 40s.
On March. 5, the Palestinian government announced the first seven cases of coronavirus patients. As a result, authorities imposed a series of strict measures to combat and curb COVID-19.
All the factories, schools, universities and public facilities such as parks and markets were once closed in order to fight the virus.
"Those preventive measures caused severe economic damage, especially to the tourism sector in Bethlehem, which is considered the center of tourism in Palestine," Qanwati said.
"A large percentage of workers in the tourism sector have become unemployed, and that pushed many of them into the poverty circle," he explained.
Now, with the fashion house open, many of those who lost their jobs can regain their financial confidence and help their families to stay afloat.
Hadeel al-Dridi from Tulkarm told Xinhua that she eventually found a job as a model in a Palestinian fashion house, adding that she doesn't have to travel abroad to look for a model job.
"It is a golden opportunity to practice my work as a model without any obstacles," she said, adding that "I participated in many fashion shows belonging to Arab fashion houses."
The 24-year-old young woman expressed her happiness to represent Palestinian products by participating in international fashion shows.
Abdul Wahid Manasra, from Bethlehem, another model, has recently joined the Palestinian fashion house to have a source of income for livelihood.
The 23-year-old young man told Xinhua that this work will help him complete his university studies that he had stopped because of the difficult economic conditions.
"Also, I can help my father in the daily expenses, especially amid the novel coronavirus that has negatively affected our economic situation," he said. Enditem