The ice cream has melted in the uprising

4 Oct

 Malak Shaher


If you are a fan of ice cream, the journey to enjoy and find ice cream in Sana’a will not be a short one. Since the attack on the  station providing Sana’a with electricity in April, the power cut outs have prevented refrigerators from performing their task: they no longer can freeze ice cream.Wafa Ali, a fan of ice cream said that it is very difficult now to find ice cream in Sana’a.“All the grocery stores near our house do not have ice cream,” sighed the 15 year-old girl.“When I ask them, where is the ice cream, they reply desperately : Where is the electricity,» she said.

She said that she now buys ice cream from the small carts if she finds one of those carts or  or from some of the “expensive” ice cream stores.

The prices of the ice cream have increased based on the place — the store and it’s location — that sellsit. In Baskin Robins for example, the prices have increased one fifth.

But for Abdulrahman Al-Same’i a worker at Baskin Robins, he said they had  lose a lot of money on generators to “keep the ice cream in its same condition”

He said that they use the generators all day long. Al-Same’i said that their business was affected since the company is very well known and needs to offer the ice cream all the time.

He added that the business was hardest hit in the month of April when the power suddenly went off without prior notice. The internationally reknowned ice cream brand and chain has lost around 400 gallons of ice cream since the crises last April, according to Al-Same’i.

Hilal Hamoud a worker in Baskin Robins said that sometimes they close the place due to the fighting in nearby areas.  YT Photo by Malak Shaher
 “We have to keep the ice cream we get from Canada in the same condition.Therefore, we keep the generators working all day long,” he said.

In certain times, Ahmad Al-Sodi, another worker in the same ice cream place in Hadda street said that “they had to close for a week due to the security situation.”

He said that sometimes they had to give people free ice cream. This was because should they have to close the franchise that week they did not wast to lose the remaining quantity.

Baskin Robins has six ice parlours in Sana’a some of which were closed at different times depending on the status of the fighting. The other three places in Aden and Taiz were not affected as much as the ones in Sana’a.

Ice cream has become not only a problem for the ice cream places but for those who earn their living by selling ice cream in their small carts.

Saleh Al-Samawi works with a a small cart he bought before the uprising for YR 50,000 or nearly USD. He said that it is extremely expensive now for him to buy the big slabs of ice that he uses in the ice cream container to make the ice cream “cold”.“I buy the ice from a trader who brings it from Al-Hodida. The amount of ice I used to buy for 500 hundred [USD 2, 5] is now four times the original price,” said Saleh Al-Samawi.Al-Samawi said that even though he buys the pieces of ices to keep his ice cream cool, he has been thinking of switching his small business into another thing.“I do not sell a lot of ice cream nowadays because people are no more interested. They pass by me, almost like I am part of the decoration in the market,” said Al-Samawi who usually sells in Al-Safia district.

“Ice cream has now become only for a few people who have money.”

Ragheed Al-Hashimi sells ice cream in his cart which costs YR 50,000 or USD 230. He needs to buy ice and put it inside the container to keep the ice cream cold. He said he does not sell much ice cream nowadays. Photo by Malak Shaher

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