The world’s biggest lantern in the “Green Battalion” square
Gaza – Mohamed Habib
Last night on Sunday, the residents of Gaza lit up the world’s biggest lantern in the “Green Battalion” square, West Gaza. The wooden lantern is so big that it is qualified to enter the Guinness World
Records, as it is 16 meters high and 6 meters wide. It has blue, yellow and red leather detail and has been embellished with decorative ropes, in addition to adding decorative writings of all the Palestinian cities on it. The lantern will stay in the same square for the entire holy month, and has been lit up with very strong bulbs so that it draws attention to passersby, according to residents.
Residents were very excited once the lantern was lit up, which was joined by a display of fireworks as well. Gaza youngsters invited President Abu Mazen and leader of the Palestinian deposed government Ismail Haniyeh to light up the lantern, as a way of reconciling between the two.
Um Ibrahim, who was at the square with her children, told Arabstoday that she is delighted to see the beautiful lantern, pointing out that Palestinians love life and are able to enjoy it despite all the suffering and pain they are going through. As for Adham, another resident seen playing with his children, he said that his kids begged him to bring them to see the lantern as he cannot afford to buy them a lantern each, so he can see their happy faces looking at the lantern in the square, yet feel sadness in his heart for not being able to afford buying one.
In an interview with the lantern creator himself, Mustafa Massoud, he said: “the idea came to me as I was building a 5 meter high lantern, so I searched the internet for the world’s biggest Ramadan lantern so that I could build a bigger one. Therefore last year I built a 10 meter high lantern and I wanted to try again this year with an even bigger one.”
The lantern creator dedicated his creation to the late Yasser Arafat and the late Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, calling for a united nation. Massoud stressed that Palestinians have not given up despite the 4-year Israeli blockade they have been under, and pointed out that youth in Palestine are forgotten but they are a nation who loves and builds life.