Monday, July 22, 2013

In Gaza fast food is not always fast

KFC being dragged through the tunnel
Today I finished the manuscript of my new novel and wanted to celebrate by taking a break from cooking. We went to KFC for some chicken.  We jumped in our little red car and in no time at all, there we were with chicken in our hands.
What an easy, everyday thing to do. People all over the world enjoy the Colonel’s secret recipe. I even have a picture of my husband in front of a KFC franchise in China. KFC is all over the world, but not in Gaza.
KFC in China
Palestine was granted “non-member observer status” in the UN in November 2012 as nation 194.  That’s a lot of nations, and 120 of those 194 nations have at least one Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise.  Gaza doesn’t have one, but El-Arish, just over the border in Egypt does.  So what’s the problem? As the old saying goes, “you can’t there from here.” The blockade imposed on Gaza severely limits the number of people and the goods that cross into Gaza.

Sometimes a prisoner looks through the bars of his cell and has a desperate longing for a taste of something the rest of the world takes for granted. Sometimes something as simple as fast food can make a connection with the outside world. Eating a piece of the colonel’s chicken is just one small way of making that connection—a small way of thumbing a nose at the blockade, a small way of exercising a tiny forbidden freedom.

The New York Times article of May 15, 2013, says that the fast-food delivery is anything but fast in Gaza.
“It took more than four hours for the KFC meals to arrive here on a recent afternoon from the franchise where they were cooked in El Arish, Egypt, a journey that involved two taxis, an international border, a smuggling tunnel and a young entrepreneur coordinating it all.”

The video below documents a portion of the incredible journey a bucket of chicken must make to reach a table in Gaza.

Bon appetit, Gaza.

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