Palestinian invents queuing socks
Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 20.03.2007:
Palestinians can find themselves waiting for hours at checkpoints
A West Bank woman has developed special socks to help Palestinians suffering from swollen feet as they wait at Israeli military checkpoints.
Maram Abdel Latif, from Jenin, spent three years on the design and produced her first prototype in February.
The socks are made from nylon and gel that moulds around wearers’ feet to prevent discomfort, even if they stand for hours, as they sometimes have to.
Ms Latif, 22, says the socks are ideal for pregnant women and the elderly.
The carer at an elderly home says she got the idea after facing long waits at Israeli checkpoints in the occupied West Bank.
The Israel army has erected dozens of permanent checkpoints and roadblocks, severely restricting Palestinian movement in the West Bank and their access to services and employment.
Israel says the travel restrictions are necessary to protect Israeli citizens from militant attacks.
The garment is bulky and wearers must wear bigger shoes than normal to accommodate the sock.
Ms Latif says the socks are “like sleeping on a waterbed, which is far more comfortable than a regular mattress”.
Ms Latif believes there is market for the socks which she calls “watersocks”.
She says she is looking for company to invest in the self-funded project.
“My dream came true by designing the socks, but I need to work more on it,” she says.
Ms Latif says that if her idea takes off than she would use the profits to support her parents and family.
BBC News 19/3/2007