Gaza’s vintage cars evoke happier times

14 Mar

By Linda Paganelli, Gaza, Electronic Intifada, 12 March 2015

A passionate collector of classic cars, Mahfouz Kabariti dreams of building a museum in the occupied Gaza Strip.

Mahfouz has restored vintage vehicles for almost twenty years. There are currently five cars in his garage, with no space for more.

A museum, he says, would be the perfect place to collect, preserve and exhibit the history of automobiles in Gaza.

However, Gaza has been under a severe blockade imposed by Israel since 2007, making it very difficult if not impossible to find spare parts to maintain vintage cars.

But Mahfouz sees job opportunities in restoring old cars — and employment opportunities are needed in Gaza, where general unemployment stands at 40 percent and youth unemployment at 70 percent.

A classic car museum would remind Palestinians of happier times, Mahfouz says, when they could travel freely and life was easier than it is today.

Linda Paganelli is a visual anthropologist based in Palestine. Her work tackles issues around human rights, minorities and groups existing outside of mainstream societ

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