I went to DHL to pick up a package that my daughter had ordered online. Come to think of it, I’m not sure why our DHL doesn’t do home deliveries, but we have gotten used to picking up our shipments. Yalla ma’lesh is part of our culture after all! Anyway, when I got there, I was shocked to see heaps of medium and large packages ready to be delivered to or picked up by clients. There was hardly any space for people to walk through the office! When I asked the manager what was going on, he said that this phenomenon has existed for over a year. Apart from individuals, merchants buy inexpensive clothing in bulk online and sell it at retail prices. It’s as simple as that. Almost everything comes from China, “the factory of the world,” the manager added. The plethora of such business activities surged after China got COVID-19 under control. At some point, I overheard an employee telling someone on the phone that the vans are now delivering packages to several Palestinian cities and towns. While the DHL office I went to is in Jerusalem, I was told that the vast majority of the received shipments go to the West Bank. I understood then why DHL doesn’t do home deliveries! Eat your heart out, Hermes!
Palestinians have not invented the wheel. I am certain that merchants from small and medium-sized businesses all over the world work like this. Of course there are people who suffer from such shifts in norms and traditional ways, but as they say: “The only constant in this universe is change.” Who knows what will happen in the future? Maybe China will go to war and be devastated (bloody unlikely, but who knows?). Maybe India or even Vietnam, the rising star of Asia massively aided by the West, will take over as the factory of the world. Nothing remains as is: not how business is conducted, not market leaders, not empires, not even existing world orders. Change is inevitable no matter what you do. Oh, not even the occupation will remain!
Long live Palestine!
By Sani Meo