Traditional ovens help Gazans overcome unemployment and fuel shortage

Traditional ovens help Gazans overcome unemployment and fuel shortage (Mohammed Asad - MEMO)

Mohammed Asad

Middle East Monitor  /  December 22, 2021

For locals, this traditional cooking utensil provides reassurance that their food will be cooked to the best quality.

Finding himself unemployed as a result of the outbreak of the coronavirus in Gaza, 36-year-old baker Ehab Atef Oud turned his hand from making bread to producing the perfect implement to bake with; clay ovens.

“I used to work in a bakery in Abasan al-Kabira. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, my circumstances changed. Now I make some traditional ovens from clay and hay, which I buy, and sell them to people,” he tells MEMO.

“Most of the young people in Gaza are unemployed, there are no job opportunities. I chose this craft because I live in a village and people like these ovens.”

“The clay oven must be left under the sunlight to dry so it can withstand the heat from cooking. In winter it takes two to three days to dry.”

Clay ovens, he says, make food and drinks taste different. “My grandmother told me that the clay oven is different from the gas stove. For me, I found an extraordinary taste.”

For locals, this traditional cooking utensil provides reassurance that their food will be cooked to the best quality. “We can make bread with it and can be sure that the bread will come out well, handmade and clean,” one of Ehab’s customers says.

“The clay oven is the best thing we own. Sometimes we don’t have cooking gas, so we come here to cook everything.”

Mohammed Asad – MEMO’s correspondent based in Gaza