In the Old City of Hebron there is still an area known as ‘Glass-Blower Quarter’. Glass blowing is a centuries old tradition and a skill passed through families, generation after generation.
Today in Hebron, Muslim glass-blowers like Mohammed use their incredible skill and traditional techniques to craft exquisitely unique decorations from recycled glass. Reflecting on the glass-blowing process, Mohammed commented,
‘Every bauble is different – a bit like a snowflake’, an interesting thought from a resident of Hebron where snow is such a rare phenomenon, but a reminder that every Bethlehem Bauble is uniquely beautiful, created right in the heart of the Holy Land.
Mohammed’s carefully crafted globes of glass are then sent across to Bethlehem where the Christian ladies of the BFTA – Bethlehem Fair Trade Artisans, hand-paint them with delicate designs before threading them with ribbon and packaging them in fully-recyclable, robust, plastic free packaging to be shipped (literally by sea) over to Ros, Founder of Bethlehem Baubles, in the UK.
Selim is just one of around 40 artisans working on Bethlehem Baubles at the fantastic, air-conditioned Craft Village – located in the very town where Christ was born. Selim has 4 children and has been honing her painting skills for over 20 years. Selim clearly enjoys her work and told us, ‘There are not many part-time jobs for mothers like me in Bethlehem and life has been very tough this last year. This income is very welcome and important to our family.’
So, as you enjoy the glint of the gleaming glass bauble on your tree, consider the long journey that it has been on, much like the journey that Mary and Joseph took to Bethlehem over 2000 years ago. Give thanks for every life that has been changed for the better by your shopping and remember every person who has a had a hand in bringing this treasure from the heart of the Holy Land to the heart of your home.