More and more Gazans are heading to the field of fashion design, a sign of the industry’s thriving future
[Gaza] In the tiny and blocked Gaza Strip, where the population and unemployment rate are among the highest in the world, the idea of finding a job is almost impossible, especially with the continuing deterioration of its economic and living conditions. Therefore, the need to change professions has become the only choice for survival for many.
Khalil Khudair and Aya Eid are among those who not only survived, but believed in their talent in fashion design and used it to help others follow their dreams and endure cruel economic conditions at the same time.
Two months ago, the two designers and their three assistants opened the first fashion house in the Gaza Strip, teaching methods and basics of the art of fashion design as a prelude to the launch of a private label and production line. The move was considered bold and risky given the volatile situation and fragile economy in the coastal enclave, as well as cultural barriers, but the benefit is greater, according to Khuair.
“Despite everything, especially the economic difficulties, we managed to realize our dream of starting this project. Hopefully this will give our young people a glimmer of hope to stay here and earn a living instead of dangerously migrating to other countries in search of a decent life, ”Khudair told The Media Line.
Khalil & Aya Fashion House works to train professional and skilled designers ready to engage in the job market, also providing them, for a fee, with valuable training courses in fashion design, sewing and international fashion production using the latest methods and machines. best to ensure optimal results. In addition, the fashion house offers its best students job opportunities at local clothing companies or factories.
Rani Kafina, 24, an accounting graduate who could not find a job in his field of study, decided to try a professional job and enrolled in the design course at the fashion house.
“I didn’t know anything about this industry, but I was determined to learn from scratch and work hard because this is my only chance before giving up on life in this place. Thank God I can now design, cut out patterns, sew and produce high quality clothing. I am grateful for this place and the instructors, ”he told The Media Line.
Although only recently established, the house has achieved considerable success in attracting passionate students of both genders; more than 40 men and women have so far been trained and qualified to start their own businesses.
One of the fashion house’s talented students with a special promise is Etedal Lulu, 44, a breadwinner and mother of five with no real source of income.
“My children and I looked everywhere for any kind of job to meet our basic needs, but all our efforts were in vain until I found this home and started learning to sew and draw,” she told The Media. Line. “I have acquired great skills and knowledge and am ready to start my own small business, and I have also brought my youngest son to learn here so that we can expand the work and improve our living conditions.”
Having such a project in Gaza will leave a big impact not only on small designers but on the whole future of Palestinian fashion design in general.
Khudair, who studied fashion design in Jordan in 1996, already has her own brand, Khalil Fashion, which she first launched in 2000 and has worked day and night to get it to reach neighboring countries such as the UAE and the Egypt. His greatest desire, however, was to get more people in Gaza interested in the fashion design industry and to change the world’s negative image of Gaza – which lacks creative talent and high skills.
“Thanks to the efforts of our hardworking generations, we will be able to bring our rich culture through fashion design around the world and our Palestinian brands will shine and compete with the most famous fashion houses globally,” he said confidently.
His partner Eid told The Media Line: “We are trying to highlight the talent of the Strip by improving skills and encouraging more people to engage in the field, which in the future will achieve a kind of self-sufficiency in terms of importing goods and fashion from. ‘abroad. Why import it if we have the ability to compete with our excellent domestic industry? “
Eid and Khuair are planning to develop their own fashion house and add a new department for teaching fashion design on the computer, as well as preparing for the launch of the Khalil & Aya production line.