A common space for harmonic peacemakers
With few employment opportunities, three young men in Gaza have launched an innovative business of their own.
by Walid Mahmoud & Muhammad Shehada
Gaza City - Few opportunities await Gaza's youth after they graduate from university. Unemployment among university graduates aged 19-29 years old in the besieged coastal enclave was just shy of 80 percent last year, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.
But civil engineering graduates Tamer Abo Motlaq, 26, Usama Qudaih, 24, and Khaled Abo Motlaq, 24 were determined not to add to the grim statistic.
Harnessing their degrees and their desire to create sustainable affordable energy alternatives for their cash-strapped fellow Palestinians in Gaza, the trio founded the Olive Jift Project - a startup that turns "jift", byproducts from olive oil pressing, into fuel pellets for home heating and cooking.
To secure seed funding and valuable mentorship, the three graduates entered their startup idea in a contest run by Danish Church Aid.
"Our project won a micro-funding of $5,000 and received technical assistance and coaching from [the local NGO] Ma'an Development Center," Tamer told Al Jazeera.
Continue reading: Turning waste to gold in Gaza
Very enterprising work, by some young men in Palestine!