It’s always heartwarming when someone who lives somewhere completely fucked manages to do something useful to improve their circumstances, and, in turn, to make the place they live slightly less fucked. Gaza resident and taxi driver Munthar al-Qassas was tired of waiting in the hot sun to buy gas during the region’s ongoing gas shortage. But did the 32-year-old former political science major just throw up his hands and sit around reading Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling? He did not. Instead, he created an electric car — Gaza’s very first — from all recycled materials, at a cost of under $1,000.
Detractors point out that the taxi needs to be charged for five hours, but seriously, it’s not like Qassas is going to drive the thing all day. He can charge it while watching kids throw rocks at soldiers. Another less-than-ideal fact about the vehicle: It only goes about 12 miles an hour. But in an occupied country with 42.5 percent unemployment, what’s the rush?