BBC Arabic recently broadcast a TV report on restaurants in Gaza, in which it showed "an aspect of luxury, vibrancy, and riches" to life in Gaza. Restaurant owners and patrons talked to the reporter about eating out, describing the menus and the prices. A group of women sitting at a restaurant said that they would often come for "a coffee and a chat," and that dinner would come to 250-300 dollars. The report aired on December 20, 2016.
Restaurant Owner Basel 'Aliwa: "In Gaza especially, restaurants are seen as a type of entertainment. We, in Gaza, love life, and this is a way to escape the bitter reality of the people of Gaza."
Aida Abu Sitta Patron: "We usually have a coffee and chat. Nobody sits and has a coffee by herself. Never. If the three of us have a coffee, it comes to around 100 shekels.
Reporter: "And if you have dinner?"
Aida Abu Sitta: "Then it could come to 250-300 dollars, if we all eat together. If it is a large group, it could come to 75-80 shekels apiece."
Basel 'Aliwa: "We have a large menu, with the large variety of dishes that we serve. We have a wide range of prices too, suitable for almost anyone."
Aisha Abu Mazkour Patron: "We have come to celebrate the birthday of my granddaughter, Safa. She is three years old today.
"The celebration costs $200"
"We have all come - me, my family, her grandfather, her aunt, and our friends - because she is the only girl in our home. We wanted to create a happy atmosphere, so that she would be happy and so would we.
Reporter: "People who can afford the expenses involved in such an investment have found it to be a safe avenue for profit. This is another aspect of life in Gaza, an aspect of luxury, vibrancy, and riches.
Sami Al-'Ajl Manager: "Our prices are a bit high, of course. This isn't a place for just everybody. Not everybody can afford our prices. The prices of our dishes range from 30-40 shekels to 85 or 89 shekels. Our prices are average for the middle - or upper-class clientele.
Nada Bakr Student: "The prices are reasonable. We come to a place knowing the prices. It depends on what you can afford. If we come once a week or once a fortnight, it's not too hard on our budget.