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  • Palestinians look at a torched house, Shati refugee camp in Gaza City May 7, 2016.

    Palestinians look at a torched house, Shati refugee camp in Gaza City May 7, 2016. | Photo: Reuters

Published 10 May 2016

Engineers help overcome material shortages in Gaza with new brick design.

Two Palestinian engineers, Majid Almashharawi and Rawn Addullatif developed a new method to make bricks in Gaza, where many building resources are often restricted by Israel. The women developed a way to use coal ashes in brick-making, according to Al Jazeera.

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The engineering pair set out to address the problem of Gaza’s weak bricks that are used to construct facilities. Their environmentally-friendly project named Green Cake utilizes recycled ashes in a new brick mix.

They have been testing out their new product for over a year, and so far signs point to positive results. The engineers commented, “We can’t put our happiness into words. After a year and a half of tests, we have harvested the labor of our efforts."

Their bricks have a number of advantages. The Green Cakes are half the weight of bricks commonly used in Gaza construction, as well as being 30 percent cheaper. They aim to mass produce Green Cakes in the future to help Gazans and develop their business. Local experts believe that the project can be very successful if the pair are able to obtain the resources that they need.

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Housing is a major problem for the people of Gaza and rebuilding from years of ongoing Israeli bombing can be a slow process, especially because Israel often prevents reconstruction. Eighteen thousand houses were destroyed or badly damaged and more than 108,000 Palestinians lost their homes, according to the U.N., after the 2014 summer offensive by the Israeli military against Hamas and the people of Gaza.

Israel imposed a restriction on building materials entering Gaza two weeks ago, as it has intermittently done for many years. But the restriction was lifted as a result of Turkish pressure on Israel.

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