Despite the stifling blockade on the Gaza Strip, a man from Gaza managed to manufacture a single-seat sand race car in his small shop using rudimentary tools and secondhand spare parts.
Fathi Salman Abu Gharaba attracts much attention in the Gaza Strip driving an oddly shaped sand race car that he built himself, reported by Al-Monitor.
Abu Gharaba, 40, has had a passion for cars and international car races since his early childhood.
He designed his own single seater that can reach a top speed of 360 kilometers per hour (220 mph). It took him seven months to build the vehicle according to the Formula 1 international specifications. The car was ready in June.
Abu Gharaba created the “Desert Race” using scrap tools and rudimentary equipment, which he collected from different places in the Gaza Strip. He then assembled the vehicle in his small home workshop in the agricultural village of al-Masdar in central Gaza, located about 1,500 meters (1 mile) from the fence separating the coastal enclave from Israel.
“Making cars has been my passion for years. The toughest part of this hobby is to search for auto parts, notably spare parts and generators, which is almost an impossible mission in Gaza amid the tightening Israeli blockade and restrictions,” he told Al-Monitor.
Ismael al-Nakhalah, head of the Automobile Importers Association in Gaza, told Al-Monitor, “The Israeli authorities have been preventing the entry of new cars and spare parts into the Gaza Strip since the last round of escalation between the Israeli army and the Palestinian factions in May. The clashes that lasted for 11 days were the deadliest since the 2014 war.”
Abu Gharaba said he hopes that one day he would be able to travel and work in a professional car workshop abroad.
“Many people contact me from abroad, especially from the (Persian) Gulf. Some expressed their will to help me by sending me spare car parts, but this is impossible amid the blockade. But I will keep doing what I’m doing with the available equipment,” he concluded.