Inside the Wild, 4-Hour Trek to Smuggle KFC Into Gaza

Locals pay big sums to get it brought in from Egypt
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2013 9:53 AM CDT
Inside the Wild, 4-Hour Trek to Smuggle KFC Into Gaza
The New York Times explains how Gazans get KFC across the border.   (AP Photo/KFC)

They say everybody needs a little KFC, and it seems they're right. Gaza residents don't have access to a local branch—so they're willing to pay more than twice the going price to get it delivered from Egypt in a highly complex process that takes some four hours. Sure, it's a little less than fresh when it arrives, but for Khalil Efrangi's customers, it's worth it. The New York Times details a recent delivery, which started once a Facebook page run by the 31-year-old got enough order requests—typically about 30, though in this particular instance, just 15.

Efrangi then got the ball rolling by wiring money to the KFC branch in El Arish, Egypt (located just south of Gaza). A taxi driver grabbed the orders and took them to the border; a Palestinian cab driver—whom border guards call "the Kentucky guy"—was waiting at a Hamas checkpoint on the other side. He called the Egyptian driver to tell him which illegal border tunnel had been officially cleared for the transaction. Two Egyptian boys met the "Kentucky guy" in the middle of the tunnel; he then drove the food to Gaza City, where motorcyclists delivered it to the customers. Efrangi, for his part, makes about $6 profit per meal, which is restricted to orders of chicken pieces, fries, coleslaw, and apple pie to simplify the process. "It’s our right to enjoy that taste the other people all over the world enjoy," says Efrangi, who has only been running his service for a few weeks. Click through for the full story. (Read more KFC stories.)

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