GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — The tradition of henna body painting has resurfaced among Palestinian women who paint their bodies and feet for ornamental purposes. This tradition vanished in the past decades, but it is gaining popularity again and has become a source of living for many women who help to make ends meet amid the deteriorating living conditions in the Gaza Strip.
Henna is a powder made out of henna tree leaves. It is sold in local perfume stores and can be prepared at home by crushing henna leaves and mixing them with water, then adding dyes to give them color. Women paint beautiful shapes on their hands and feet with henna, and the designs last for a couple of months before disappearing.