On Tuesday 14 July, Barcelona Municipal Markets Institute (IMMB) welcomed Mohamed A. Al-Halabi, Head of International Relations for Gaza City, who was accompanied by Glòria Marcet from Barcelona City Council's Department of International Cooperation, Solidarity and Peace.
During an initial visit to Santa Caterina Market, with Jordi Torrades, manager of IMMB, Anna Ruiz and Òscar Martín also in attendance, Mohamed Al-Halabi outlined the plans to build a new market in Gaza City, specifically in a region currently undergoing expansion, with a view to easing pressure on the existing markets. Municipal technicians have been working on the architectural side of the project for some time now, as part of Barcelona City Council's broader, longer-term collaboration with Gaza City authorities.
During his visit to the market, Mohamed A. Al-Halabi asked questions as to how the IMMB works, what its management model looks like, and also showing interest in relations maintained with market traders and their participation. He was also keen to learn about the operational and logistics side of the markets (unloading, storage, parking, etc.), as well as their organisation.
Later he was taken on a guided tour of the iconic Boqueria Market. Finally, he urged for the collaboration of the IMMB to review the plans for the new market, once these have been drawn up, sharing its experience for the market's commercial and functional design.