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March 21, 2019 - The Vegan Authority

For these vegans in the Palestinian territories, food is a form of protest

For these vegans in the Palestinian territories, food is a form of protest
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The vegan bakery first opened in 2016 in al-Jalazone, a refugee camp of about 14,000 residents located on the outskirts of the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Run by Hamed al-Amouri and his business partner, Khaled Safi, it was the only known vegan pastry bakery in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Due to difficulties running a business, let alone day to day challenges of living in the Israeli occuped territory, the bakery had to shut its doors last year. “There was some demand, but it was not enough,” Khaled said. “It was hard to market our goods. And there is not enough social awareness of the benefits of veganism.”

Despite a growing number of vegans in Isreal, their occupiers, on the other side of the Israeli West Bank concrete barrier wall, the Palestininan territories' burgeoning vegan community hesitates to cooperate with Israel’s vegan community on projects of common interest due to Israel's long-standing grip on the Palestinian population. Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967 and has imposed systematic checkpoints and barriers that restrict and violate the human rights of Palestinians.

Khaled and Amouri originally wanted to open a regular bakery, but Khaled's brother, Ahmed Safi, an animal rights activist who co-founded the Palestinian Animal League in 2011, suggested specializing in vegan goods. Ahmed had gone vegan in 2014 as part of his commitment to animal rights.

VA


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