What’s Handmade Palestine?
Handmade Palestine is a project of Mashjar Juthour, an arboretum, a living museum of trees. Mashjar Juthour is building a botanic garden of native and special trees where the community can come and learn in a green educational space about Palestine’s amazing natural heritage. Struggling to find support for this non profit work, Mashjar Juthour decided to raise money to buy and plant trees by selling handicrafts. The project called Handmade Palestine simultaneously supports fair trade, local artisans while also raising funds for a noble initiative.
What’s our vision?
Handmade Palestine is a fair trade shop for Palestinian handicrafts that raises money to plant and care for trees at Mashjar Juthour. We are one of many channels that help artisans get their products into an international market. We may be a tiny project but many artisans have no access to international buyers, so it’s very important we support them. And when you consider that most of the artisans are women, and many are the sole breadwinners supporting their families, we see how vital it is that we buy from these artisans and pay fair prices.
Anyone can sell a Chinese imported keffiyeh and make a far greater profit, but then we sabotage the only keffiyeh factory in Palestine, which is making high quality keffiyehs on antique looms that are a significant and beautiful part of our cultural heritage in Palestine. Likewise, women in Dheisha Refugee Camp from Aseela Women’s Cooperative making olive oil soap with the highest quality Palestinian olive oil are preserving a vital traditional practice from our culture. We can’t afford to lose our heritage. We already are fighting against an occupier who is intent on stealing so much of it from us. We must save and promote our culture and heritage, including our natural heritage.
Handmade Palestine Market
We have committed to hosting seasonal markets that feature local artisans and high quality handicrafts. These are wonderful opportunities to bring together a community of local makers who can share their handicrafts with you all as well as meet each other.
We invite only artisans who are designers or who create their handicrafts by hand. Each artisan brings with her a story and we aim to highlight those stories, both in our work promoting the markets and in the interaction between the artisan and the visitors.
For our autumn market coming up in October, we are very excited to host a Gypsy Kitchen and to feature the Domari Society of Gypsies in Jerusalem. Social media is really an incredible tool for storytelling, and we will be using our facebook and instagram accounts to share the stories of the Domari women as well as a few other artisans who will be at our Handmade Palestine Market. You can help us get those stories shared more broadly by using the hashtag #handmade_palestine
A call-out to Local Artisans
The Handmade Palestine Market will be hosted at Cafe La Vie on October 20th from 10:00 to 17:00. We invite artisans from Palestine to use the hashtags #handmadepalestine to share their work.
Artisans who want to participate can contact us by submitting this form by the 30th of September. Noting its important to leave a link to one your social profiles so we can see your work.
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