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Preserving Tradition and Sweetening Childhood Memories: Abu Mahdi, the Amber Candy Maker

Posted On: 27-02-2024 | National News , PNN TV Reports , Qarib Stories
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Bethlehem /PNN/

In the midst of challenging circumstances, Muhab Anan Jameel Safa, also known as Abu Mahdi, has carved a unique path for himself by reviving a nostalgic treat from the past—amber candy. This traditional Palestinian candy is not just a sweet indulgence but a fusion of natural honey and apples, providing both delight and nutritional value for children.

Abu Mahdi, a seller of popsicles, children's sweets, and popcorn in the summer, shifts to the production of amber in the winter, offering a diverse range of flavors, including strawberry, X-Flavor, banana, and white with pineapple or mint. The process involves dipping washed and dried Damascus apples into the amber, creating a textured treat that reflects the sweets of our ancestors.

The craftsmanship of Abu Mahdi's amber has caught the attention of locals, including Taiseer Khalif, owner of a supermarket in Bethlehem. Khalif reminisces about the joy amber brought to his childhood, emphasizing the health benefits and encouraging his children to opt for this traditional treat over modern chocolates.

Abu Mahdi not only caters to the local market but also utilizes social media platforms like TikTok to showcase his products and engage with supporters. He has introduced a unique approach by distributing the value of received support in the form of amber, girls' yarn, and ice cream. Through live broadcasts on TikTok, he has become a pioneer, providing a win-win situation where supporters contribute, and children receive the joyous treats.
Introducing a unique approach, Abu Mahdi distributes the value of the support he receives in the form of amber candy, girls' yarn, and ice cream. Through live broadcasts on TikTok, he has become a pioneer, providing a win-win situation where supporters contribute, and children receive joyous treats.

Many Palestinians now contact him, requesting the distribution of sweets to children as a form of compassion for those who have lost loved ones. Supporters provide him with a monetary value, and in turn, he manufactures sweets with that value, increasing the quantity with each donation. This reflects his belief in the importance of giving, as he states that every increase in his contribution opens new doors of livelihood, a testament to his faith in the blessings of generosity.

Abu Mahdi visits marginalized areas and those facing challenging conditions upon receiving aid, whether local or through social media platforms. This includes remote villages and camps, such as Al-Awda Kindergarten in Beit Jibrin Camp and Al-Azza Camp. During his visits, children express immense joy as he distributes sweets, especially amber candy. The impact of his generosity is evident, bringing smiles and happiness to the faces of Palestinian children.

Abu Mahdi's unique approach to combining business with acts of kindness has not only provided a source of joy for children but has also created a community where support and generosity thrive. His dedication to giving back, especially in challenging circumstances, highlights the resilience and compassion that define his mission. *

Shahrzad Al-Azza, Director of Al-Awda Kindergarten for Children in Al-Azza Camp, highlights the impact of Abu Mahdi's presence on the children.His arrival brought unparalleled joy, transforming their emotions from sadness to happiness. In a challenging environment, Abu Mahdi's efforts resonate as a beacon of positivity, reviving not only a traditional treat but also cherished childhood memories.

Al-Azza expressed her surprise at learning that Abu Mahdi is a well-known and beloved figure among children. The joyous reception and children's familiarity with him through social media platforms caught her by surprise. 

She also was unaware of the extent of children's love for what Abu Mahdi distributes and sells, particularly the amber candy. She emphasized that his visit to Al-Awda Kindergarten brought joy and happiness to the children's hearts in these challenging times faced by our people.

Abu Mahdi expresses gratitude for the opportunity he has found, acknowledging the support he receives. Through his venture, he not only fulfills his financial commitments but also contributes to preserving Palestinian heritage and bringing joy to the community. His journey exemplifies resilience, creativity, and a commitment to keeping traditions alive in the face of adversity. *

This story was produced as part of the Qarib program implemented by the French Media Development Agency (CFI) in partnership and funding from the French Agency for International Cooperation (AFD).


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