My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ye old Arafat gift shoppe....

I wonder if you can order via the web....
When Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 it sparked the most serious political division in Palestinian history. But you might not realize that from a visit to Gaza City’s “Chairman Arafat Gift Shop.”

It is the only souvenir shop in the Gaza Strip and may be the only one in the world that sells both olive-wood rosary beads and scarves emblazoned with the logo of the militant group Islamic Jihad. Owner Tareq Abu Dayyeh says the eclectic shop has been around since 2000.

Some of his souvenirs are apolitical, but others demonstrate an equal opportunity approach to Palestinian politics, with neat rows of brightly colored T-shirts, banners, scarves, and headbands devoted to warring factions such as Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Mr. Dayyeh says he has never had a problem.

“Everyone comes in and shops and thinks it is all very funny,” he says, pointing to a poster of the deceased former leaders of Fatah and Hamas, Yasser Arafat, and Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, smiling in front of Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock. Mr. Arafat wears a checkered kaffiyeh while the sheikh wears a green baseball cap.

Most of the customers used to be foreigners or have lived abroad. But because of the three-year-long siege after Hamas took power, that crowd has been scarce. “I hope it will get better soon,” says Dayyeh.


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