WORLD CRAFTS COUNCIL
(WCC AISBL) INTERNATIONAL
Hebron/Al-Khalil, located in the Southern part of West Bank in Palestine. Thought to be one of the oldest cities continuously inhabited in the world with a history spanning over more than six millennia, Hebron/Al-Khalil has witnessed its share of great events and various civilizations that left it with a tremendous cultural and human heritage. Its numerous ancient, but well-preserved, monuments and buildings bear witness to a rich and prosperous past.
For many centuries commerce, trade, crafts and industry had a crucial effect on the economic sustainability of the city and contributed positively to strengthening relations between Hebron/Al-Khalil and other cities at the national and international levels. Nowadays these traditional handicrafts became one of the main components of the city’s cultural and economic profile.
The pottery-making is an authentic Palestinian handicraft invented in ancient Palestine in circa 6000 BC. It was used for making a variety of vessels, opening up a new technology with many applications.
One of the oldest crafts in the region, which was developed by Phoenicians who lived in Lebanon North of Palestine, before this craft moved to neighbouring cities such as Hebron. Many Christian pilgrims described the glass making in Hebron during the Mamluk and Ottoman periods and mentioned exporting glass to Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Turkey. Today, Hebron Glass sold in many countries in the region as one of the most important cultural and trade figure of the city.
Embroidery is one of the most well-known Palestinian handmade products. The craft has been developed since the creation of communities in Palestine as a part of its culture. The earliest forms of cross stitch embroidery could be dated back to the 11th century. During the ancient period, the colours for threads were made from dyes of berries, and flowers, whereas pure silk threads were brought from Lebanon and Syria. Among many items, women dresses have always been the most common embroidered item. As well nowadays embroidered fabric is commonly used as part of clothing or decoration for bags, purses, pencil cases, book covers, pillowcases etc
The earliest historical evidence of the craft is dated back to 1516 AD where the know how was transferred to Palestine from Turkey during the Ottoman era. Throughout the years the craft witnessed ups and downs and such skill was utilized in the renovation of the Dome of the the Rock in Jerusalem back in 1917. Currently, there are more than 20 workshops and factories in Hebron producing an impressive quality, stunning design and set of shadings and colouring ceramic products that are distinctive to the city and reflecting the high level level skill and dedication of craftsmen. Wide array of kitchenware and decorative items that are all hand-made and painted with exquisite arabesque patterns, sceneries of Palestinian villages and deserts are introduced to both local and international markets.