Mohammed Al-Saidi maintains a special relation with the colorful yarns and woolen hats that began before the Nakba of Palestine and continued throughout the period of the Israeli occupation. He continued to pursue his profession, meeting customers' demands.
Mohammed Al-Saidi maintains a special relation with the colorful yarns and woolen hats that began before the Nakba of Palestine and continued throughout the period of the Israeli occupation. He continued to pursue his profession, meeting customers' demands. He is the elderly Palestinian Mohammed Al-Saidi, the hat maker.
Al-Saidi spends most of his time in his own world, making wool hats, the profession he learned from his mother before he was displaced from the village of Yibna in southern Palestine in 1948, according to PIC.
Now that he is nearly 100 years old, he finds in his wooden spindle and colorful threads a friend, arranging these threads in windy rows, before leaving a final touch on his hand-made hats.
In a dimly lit room due to its low ceiling and lack of electricity most of the time, Al-Saidi moves the wool spindle with high proficiency and organizes the wool yarns to make a new wool hat to be added to thousands of hats he made during his lifetime.
Al-Saidi told the PIC, “I started making wool hats since I was 26 and I am over 96 years old now. I use wool and spindle yarns. I make hats for sale and for those who want to buy, and my customers are from all over the Gaza Strip. Every day I make one.”
Although the profession of Al-Saidi does not contain many details, as his tools are a wooden spindle and wool threads, he has maintained his career for seventy years and produced thousands of hats made in different sizes and colors.
He adds, “My mother taught me this profession in our village Yibna. During that time, natural wool was made from sheep and goats wool, upon cutting it down. We used to get natural wool from them to make hats. Today, if I see a hat I made many years ago, I know it was made by me.”
An inherited career
In a cardboard box, Al-Saidi arranged some wool hats for sale, with many colors and sizes, as he began to weave a new one.
Al-Saidi said during the interview, using words from Arabic prose, “My heart yearns to You as much as the blind wants to see … my love…O Allah I ask You to be merciful to me.”
What bothers Al-Saidi the most is the customers who do not appreciate the quality of the work he does. Although the price of the hat often does not exceed five New Israeli Shekels, some of them want to pay less.
Al-Saidi spent many years showing his merchandise in the Gaza Strip markets, especially Gaza and Khan Younis markets, but his health has been deteriorating over the past years and he could no longer go the markets to sell his hats.
Al-Saidi has a strong memory about his career as well as the names of his neighbors and their children.
For years, he has been spending his time in his old workroom. He only takes a break from his spindles during the time of prayers.