Karam Aziz, a shy 16-year-old, knocks on doors in Jabaliya refugee camp, asking for old shopping bags. Locals enquire why he wants them, yet happily hand over any they can find. Within half an hour, Karam usually has about 70 bags — vital raw material for an arts and crafts project using recycled materials.
Once he has collected the bags, Karam brings them to his sister-in-law Zainab. She and her team of 20 women transform plastic and nylon garbage into colorful toys, baskets, cushions and ornaments.
Zainab Aziz, a 25-year-old mother of two, set up the project after graduating with an Arabic language degree from Al-Aqsa University in Gaza City last year. The project is known as The New Heritage because it gives a modern and environmentally conscious twist to traditional handcrafts.
The process of making art from garbage is a long one. First the old bags have to be washed and sterilized, then cut into pieces suitable for crocheting. more