Gaza & Tulkarem Celebrate Eid with Colorful Trains
The situation for a child on the West Bank in Palestine is hard to imagine. Children witness explosions, the shelling of houses, waves of arrests, the constant presence of militia and civil violence and the horrific injury or killing of friends and family members. They are often subject to curfews and afraid just to play in the street and be children. So a simple gesture such as a train roaming their city for Eid, is enough to bring real smiles and sparkling eyes from those children.
Maysara al-Helou, a 30-year-old Palestinian, surprised the Gazan residents when he drove a small semi-train with joyful colors on narrow streets of the city. The train which resembles a Disney land train toured the city with kids hopping on and off in different areas, chanting their joy of Eid-Al-Fitr Al Mubarak.
When I first saw the 30 second recap of this ecstatic train on Jazeera news, my heart skipped a beat, finally I thought, something simple, yet with a big effect, children deserve joy and color in their daily lives after living in the horrible rummage of Gaza City.
The project was an initiative by Hussam Badawi and Gaza Mechanical Engineers, where he works. Badawi said the train-like vehicle, which travels at 30km/hour, was based on the American Jeep, with several alterations in scale and power.
“In fact I had faced some difficulties in making my fun train, mainly in getting the spare parts needed to build up the jeep and the two locomotives of the train due to the siege that is imposed on the Gaza Strip,” al-Helou told Xinhua in an exclusive interview. The train whose highest speed can reach 30 km per hour has cost 50,000 U.S. dollars, said al-Helou, adding that the train was designed in accordance with the Gaza streets in order not to violate the traffic laws.
The Train is called “Taf Taf al-Mahrousa” that began as a small project in Gaza last week, and the joy was contagious enough to reach Tul-Karem, on the first day of Eid Al-Fiter, a ‘train’ wound through the streets of Tulkarem on its inaugural ride, barely a week after an identical project kicked off in Gaza City.
The train which is a simple idea has put smiles on many children’s faces, sadly now a days, all children can care about are high-tech toys and movies, where as other children in unprivileged areas and war zones are usually trapped with no play areas, no play time, and plain rummage and disaster surrounding their home areas.
It’s true what they say, a smile from a child is a packaged sunshine with rainbows! For a person who believes that Eid an overrated holiday and an excuse to over dose on coffee people and ma’amool, I must admit this Eid was different.
Happy Eid to all the Children around the world, and especially the ones in war zones!
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