Dirty bird comes to Gaza.

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Dirty bird comes to Gaza.

Postby rickshaw92 » Mon May 20, 2013 12:53 am

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2013/ ... fying.html

Delivering KFC to Gaza: not fast, but satisfying
A 12-piece bucket goes for about $27 here – more than twice the $11.50 it costs just across the border in Egypt.
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By: FARES AKRAM The New York Times, Published on Thu May 16 2013
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GAZA CITY, GAZA STRIP—The french fries arrive soggy, the chicken having long since lost its crunch. A 12-piece bucket goes for about $27 here – more than twice the $11.50 it costs just across the border in Egypt.
And for fast-food delivery, it is anything but fast: 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 from a small shop here called Yamama – Arabic for pigeon.
“It’s our right to enjoy that taste the other people all over the world enjoy,” said the entrepreneur, Khalil Efrangi, 31, who started Yamama a few years ago with a fleet of motorbikes ferrying food from Gaza restaurants, the first such delivery service here.
There are no name-brand fast-food franchises on this strip of 1.7 million Palestinians, where the entry and exit of goods and people remain restricted and the unemployment rate is about 32 per cent.
Passage into Egypt through the Rafah crossing is limited to about 800 people a day, with men 16 to 40 years old requiring special clearance. Travelling through the Erez crossing into Israel requires a permit and is generally allowed only for medical patients, businessmen and employees of international organizations.
Palestinians generally refer to Gaza as being under siege or blockade by Israel, and isolation from the world is among the most common complaints of people here. That can create an intense longing for what those outside Gaza see as mundane, or ordinary.
“The irregular circumstances in Gaza generate an irregular way of thinking,” explained Fadel Abu Heen, a professor of psychology at Al Aqsa University in Gaza City. “They think of anything that is just behind the border, exactly as the prisoner is thinking of anything beyond the bars.”
Abu Heen noted that when Hamas, the militant Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip, breached the border with Egypt in 2008, during the height of the Israeli siege, thousands of Gazans flooded into El Arish and bought not just medicine and food staples but also cigarettes, candy and things they did not need – just to show they had managed to bring something back from outside. Breaking the blockade, then and now, is seen as part of resisting the Israeli enemy, giving a sense of empowerment and control to people here, even if it comes in the form of fried chicken.
Even as Israel has relaxed restrictions on imports over the past few years, hundreds of illegal tunnels have flourished in Rafah. Weapons and people are smuggled underground, but so are luxury cars, construction materials and consumer goods such as iPads and iPhones. And now: KFC.
Formerly called Kentucky Fried Chicken, a KFC franchise opened in El Arish, just over Gaza’s southern border, in 2011, and in the West Bank city of Ramallah last year. That, along with ubiquitous television advertisements for KFC and other fast-food favorites, has given Gazans a hankering for Colonel Sanders’ secret recipe.
So after Efrangi brought some KFC back from El Arish for friends last month, he was flooded with requests. A new business was born.
“I accepted this challenge to prove that Gazans can be resilient despite the restrictions,” Efrangi said.
In the past few weeks, Efrangi has coordinated four deliveries totaling about 100 meals, making about $6 per meal in profit. He promotes the service on Yamama’s Facebook page, and whenever there is a critical mass of orders – usually 30 – he starts a complicated process of telephone calls, wire transfers and coordination with the Hamas government to get the chicken from there to here.
The other day, after Efrangi called in 15 orders and wired the payment to the restaurant in El Arish, an Egyptian taxi driver picked up the food. On the other side of the border, Ramzi al-Nabih, a Palestinian cabdriver, arrived at the Hamas checkpoint in Rafah, where the guards recognized him as “the Kentucky guy.”
From the checkpoint, Nabih, 26, called his Egyptian counterpart and told him which of the scores of tunnels the Hamas official had cleared for the food delivery. He first waited near the shaft of the tunnel, but after a while he was lowered on a lift about 9.1 metres underground and walked halfway down the path to meet two Egyptian boys who were pushing the boxes and buckets of food, wrapped in plastic, on a cart.
Nabih gave the boys about $16.50 and argued with them for a few minutes over a tip. A half-hour later, the food was loaded into the trunk and on the back seat of his Hyundai taxi, bound for Gaza City.
Back at Yamama, Efrangi sorted the meals for his motorcyclists to deliver to customers’ doorsteps. He said he limited the menu to chicken pieces, fries, coleslaw and apple pie because other items could be too complicated.
“Some clients would need a sandwich without mayonnaise, or a more spicy one, or a sandwich with or without sauce,” he said. “That’s why we do not bring everything, to avoid delivering the wrong order.”
Ibrahim el-Ajla, 29, who works for Gaza’s water utility and was among those enjoying KFC here the other day, acknowledged that the food was better hot and fresh in the restaurant, but he said he would be likely to order again. “I tried it in America and in Egypt, and I miss the taste,” he said. “Despite the blockade, KFC made it to my home.”
Efrangi may not have the fast-food market to himself much longer. A Gaza businessman who asked to be identified only by his nickname, Abu Ali, to avoid tipping off his competitors, said he had applied for a franchise from KFC’s Middle East dealer, Americana Group, two months ago. Adeeb al-Bakri, who owns four KFC and Pizza Hut franchises in the West Bank, said he had been authorized to open a restaurant in Gaza and was working out the details.
“We need to get approval to bring chicken from Gaza farms with the KFC standards. We need to make sure that frying machines would be allowed in. We need the KFC experts to be able to head for Gaza for regular monthly checkups,” Bakri said. “I do not have a magic stick to open in Gaza quickly.”
Bakri was unaware of Efrangi’s delivery service, and when told the details, he frowned at the four-hour odyssey from oven to table.
“We dump it after half an hour,” he said.
Im reallly fuclimg pissed but fespite that I can still hit a tarfet at 1000m plus. mayVRVe bnot tonight but it qint beyond the wit if man. Nowhammy.
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