Palestinian twins turn airplane into restaurant
Palestinians visit the Boeing 707 plane which is being converted into a restaurant in the West Bank city of Nablus on July 25, 2021. (Photo: Xinhua)
A Boeing 707 is converted into a restaurant in the West Bank city of Nablus on July 25, 2021 (Photo: Xinhua)
Palestinian Khamis al-Sairafi (left) stands inside the Boeing 707 converted into a restaurant in the West Bank city of Nablus on July 25, 2021 (Photo: Xinhua)
Palestinians visit the Boeing 707 plane transformed into a restaurant in the West Bank city of Nablus on July 25, 2021 (Photo: Xinhua)
Palestinian twins Khamis and Ata al-Sairafi, from the West Bank city of Nablus, are busy turning a plane into a restaurant.
In 1999, the twins bought a decommissioned Boeing 707 from an Israeli businessman for 100,000 US dollars. They decided to make it an investment project.
“It was not easy to move him from Israel to the West Bank,” said Khamis al-Sairafi, 60, a father of seven, adding that “we were facing a complicated process, especially since we had to move the plane. “
Under coordination between the Palestinian and Israeli sides, the process of transporting the plane took about 13 hours. First, Palestinian and Israeli officials closed all key roads to allow the plane to run on a giant truck. Then its wings were temporarily detached from the body until they arrived in Nablus.
“It was a historic event,” said Ata al-Sairafi. “He arrived in Nablus at 4 am with many people waiting for him in the streets.”
However, their plans to open an airplane restaurant were hampered by the second Intifada in 2000. Yet the twins never gave up on their dream.
“All the time, we feel like this plane was one of our sons. So we kept and maintained it to get it operational when the time came,” the twins said.
As the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has led to the deterioration of the West Bank tourism sector, the twins decided to open the restaurant for “people eager to return to their normal lives.”
The twins removed all the seats from the plane and covered the cabin with parquet floors and placed the wooden furniture in the body of the plane, which is still being decorated.
Due to the limited cabin space, the galley is located in the open area under the aircraft.
According to the twins’ plan, restaurant workers will dress as flight attendants and a children’s amusement park will be built near the plane. They are also planning to set up a venue for weddings.
“Finally, I will open the doors of my restaurant so that people can enjoy their time on the plane,” Ata al-Sairafi told Xinhua.
Now the twins have opened a small cafe under the plane, serving sandwiches, drinks, and hookahs.
Although the restaurant has not been officially opened, some patrons have already arrived, taking photos in front of the plane.
Omer Khamisi, a 35-year-old from the city of Hebron, welcomed the idea of such a restaurant, saying it would help revive the lives of people in the Palestinian territories.