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Demand rises for traditional Gazan bread

Gazans continue to celebrate their ancient heritage by consuming traditional Palestinian breads.
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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — A number of passersby stopped outside Skafi Bakery in central Gaza City, where Mohsen Skafi, 19, was creating large, thin circular shapes by quickly tossing and flipping dough before baking them on a saj oven. "Saj" bread, cooked on a convex metal plate heated over a fire, is part of Palestinian heritage. This type of bread is also known as "markouk" or "shrak" in the Gaza Strip.

While Skafi was making saj bread, he told Al-Monitor, “Although baking this type of bread is an old tradition in Palestinian society, and although there is a variety of modern breads available in the market such as French baguettes … it is still an important staple for Gazans and a key ingredient of some Eastern dishes such as fatteh, which most Palestinians make every Friday. Fatteh consists of boiled chicken or other meat with white rice and saj bread, soaked in meat gravy and garnished with pine nuts. Saj bread is also used for the Palestinian dish musakhan, which consists of small pieces of chicken blended with chopped onions, olive oil and sumac, grilled and placed inside saj bread, until it looks like a wrapped sandwich.”

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