Bethlehem Baubles: Celebrating the true meaning of Christmas

Founded by Ros Pollock while in Jerusalem, Bethlehem Baubles aims to provide a fair living wage to a struggling community.

For centuries there has been a talented group of artisans within the Palestine Territories. Skills have often been passed on over generations. Many of them have their own unique story to tell about the challenges they face in their daily lives since the creation of the separation wall.

When the separation walls on the West Bank were put up, men began to struggle to provide their families with bread on the table. This was the time for women to step up and take responsibility, putting their skills into practice, so that they could contribute to the family finances.

Sawsan Rishmawi is one example of a talented local woman providing stability for her family. Having studied at Dar Al-Nadwa Centre in Bethlehem, Sawsan produces both traditional and modern art from recycled glass. She learnt how to promote her skills and has taught her four sisters the craft, so that they now all work together at Sawsan’s house while caring for their children. This has provided an essential income to all their families. The Christmas decorations she designs and paints for Bethlehem Baubles are all handmade from recycled glass and painted in different designs every year by her family-run workshop – this supports the strong Palestinian tradition that families stay close and help provide for each other.

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