Video from new mall’s Grand Opening – February 18, 2017
Whom do we thank for the common conclusion that: a mall is a mall is a mall? Gertrude Stein, calcifying roses in her poem, Sacred Emily? Or Shakespeare’s Juliet: “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
For husbands everywhere, roses and malls share beauty and thorns. The prickly part of shopping malls is shopping itself – the trek past dozens of pallid, frozen-faced mannequins clad in too expensive cloth, the alligator and leatherette shoes on plastic pyramids, the hats large enough to halt rays of a dwarf star, and aghast everywhere, the gaunt, underpaid college grads, sadly slumped at counters.
While the junior storekeepers may appear grim, attending a new mall opening is a session of exuberance by wives, and a test of patience by husbands, who often stand perplexed outside stores, while their spouses cruise aisles inside.
The video above exemplifies the joy of the fairest sex for a new mall. Men also attend, but many secretly believe that nearly all the “new” stores are really old stores with fresh facade lipstick.
Today’s quiz; where is this particular palace of purchasing located?
Thousands have visited as this mall slowly opened in recent weeks, with customers buying shoes and clothes from the Turkish chain “De Facto,” searching for gifts and school supplies in the bookstore, heading to the fourth-floor food court, and some even rode an escalator for the first time!
Featured are stores that sell perfume and makeup, home decor, mobile phones, plus clinics and office space, two parking lots, even plans to bring in a supermarket. The highlight of the mall may indeed be that food court, where a cheeseburger with potato chips and a drink costs about $5.
“We made this according to international standards…” explained Mahmoud Haniya, the mall’s executive director. He could have added that this mall is like all malls everywhere, except the signs are in Arabic.
But this mall is not like any other mall.
This mall is in Gaza City in the Gaza strip, and is patronized by civil servants and members of Hamas – including its military.
One source of its shoppers comes from an unlikely echelon of the lazy. The Palestinian Authority continues to pay salaries to tens of thousands of former civil servants, who have not worked for the past decade. Other patrons include those hired by international aid groups or the United Nations, as well as some senior Hamas leaders.
The local military workers have money to spend. Some $40 million is spent a year on just employing about 1,500 diggers to build the Iran-backed terror organization’s tunnels. Wages for excavators range from $250 to $400 a month, very high pay in Gaza. The tunnel rats also earn bonuses for meeting deadlines, and the more experienced are paid more.
Hamas recently opened one of its tunnels to the public, see below. It is part of a network that extends throughout Gaza and as long as three kilometers into Israel. One terrorist leader said the network of Gaza tunnels now exceeds the total length of those built by the Viet Cong in the Vietnam War.
“From our own investigations we found that out of every 100 sacks of cement that come into the Gaza Strip from Israel (supposedly for reconstruction), only five or six are transferred to civilians,” according to Israel’s Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold. All told, Hamas uses 95% of cement that enters Gaza to build and expand its network of tunnels.
Mall on the surface, tunnels of Hell below. Watch the video and wince.