Gaza's first five-star hotel provides luxury and hope amid the blockades

Jos

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The al-Mashtal doesn't have tourists and sits next to a military training camp, but its very existence is a symbol of optimism

The al-Mashtal is Gaza's first and only five-star hotel, an ambitious project in a place where there are no tourists and around 70% of the population lives below the poverty line. After a troubled history the hotel is in the process of a gradual opening; the early signs are that it faces a challenging future.

Construction began in the mid-1990s in the optimistic days following the signing of the Oslo accords when many believed lasting peace and a Palestinian state were realistic prospects. Funded by a consortium of Palestinian businessmen and Gulf state backers, it was originally planned as an office block but the outbreak of the second Palestinian intifada brought work to a halt.

The building, redesignated as a hotel to be operated by the upmarket chain Mövenpick, was eventually completed in 2006. A year later Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip following bloody battles with their rivals Fatah, and Mövenpick pulled out. The hotel was mothballed.

Then a year ago ArcMed, a Spanish group, agreed to take over the management and open the hotel.
Gaza's first five-star hotel provides luxury and hope amid the blockades | World news | The Guardian
 

JStone

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Hamas Violently Kick Palestinians Out of Homes In Gaza :lol: :clap2:
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMNnhTjkuAU]Hamas violently kick Palestinians out of homes and destroy them in Gaza - YouTube[/ame]
 

JStone

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:lol: :clap2:

But the pool, which could be a big draw, remains off-limits until the management can figure out a way to avoid transgressing conservative Gaza's social mores. Men and women are forbidden from swimming together and even if the hotel has segregated days, it has yet to find a way ofscreening female swimmers from public view.

Like everywhere in Gaza it is alcohol-free. Of the 70 staff only five are women and the management has been careful to offer shift patterns that respect their needs.
 
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Jos

Jos

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Does Judaism want women to move over?

The blogosphere lit up recently with news of Yiddish language signs placed in a predominately haredi neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, asking women to “please step aside when men walk towards you” in the street.

this tradition has to do with a passage found in the Talmud which states, “There are three who must not pass between, nor may others pass between them, and they are: a dog, a palm tree and a woman” (Pesachim 111a).


The Talmud (Horiyot 13b) indicates that the reason a man should not walk between two women has to do with the superstition that it may impair the man’s ability to remember the Torah he learned.
Does Judaism want women to move over? - Israel Jewish Scene, Ynetnews
 

High_Gravity

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I heard Gaza has some good hotels, restaurants and water parks. I bet the shawarmas are good too.
 
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P F Tinmore

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:lol: :clap2:

But the pool, which could be a big draw, remains off-limits until the management can figure out a way to avoid transgressing conservative Gaza's social mores. Men and women are forbidden from swimming together and even if the hotel has segregated days, it has yet to find a way ofscreening female swimmers from public view.

Like everywhere in Gaza it is alcohol-free. Of the 70 staff only five are women and the management has been careful to offer shift patterns that respect their needs.
There are places in Israel where men cannot sit next to women and women cannot have bare arms.
 
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JStone

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:lol: :clap2:

But the pool, which could be a big draw, remains off-limits until the management can figure out a way to avoid transgressing conservative Gaza's social mores. Men and women are forbidden from swimming together and even if the hotel has segregated days, it has yet to find a way ofscreening female swimmers from public view.

Like everywhere in Gaza it is alcohol-free. Of the 70 staff only five are women and the management has been careful to offer shift patterns that respect their needs.
There are places in Israel where men cannot sit next to women and women cannot have bare arms.
The UN ranks Israel among the 15 best countries to live in (out of 170 countries) in the world and with the highest qualities of life, emphasizing human development, political and cultural freedom and equality in education, healthcare, life expectancy and income, ahead of England, Spain, Greece, Italy, Finland, Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg and Austria

Indices & Data | Human Development Reports (HDR) | United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Human Development is a development paradigm that is about much more than the rise or fall of national incomes. It is about creating an environment in which people can develop their full potential and lead productive, creative lives in accord with their needs and interests. People are the real wealth of nations. Development is thus about expanding the choices people have to lead lives that they value. And it is thus about much more than economic growth, which is only a means —if a very important one —of enlarging people’s choices.

Fundamental to enlarging these choices is building human capabilities —the range of things that people can do or be in life. The most basic capabilities for human development are to lead long and healthy lives, to be knowledgeable, to have access to the resources needed for a decent standard of living and to be able to participate in the life of the community. Without these, many choices are simply not available, and many opportunities in life remain inaccessible.
 

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The al-Mashtal doesn't have tourists and sits next to a military training camp, but its very existence is a symbol of optimism


Memo To Hotel Guests: Never Fly The Fatah Flag Or You Will Never Return Home! :lol:

Palestine Press Agency: Hamas arrested and beat a group of women holding a protest at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in central Gaza City on Saturday.

The women were celebrating the 46th anniversary of Fatah's first terror attack.

"Witnesses said that members of Hamas attacked the women with batons, tore up their flags and took the women to a detention center, shouting curses and insults." http://www.palpress.co.uk/arabic/
 

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