Embroidered green lozenge-pattern table mat made by the Bethlehem Arab Women’s Union. 34cm x 40cm
Hand embroidered in Bethlehem by the Bethlehem Arab Women’s Union. Most of our beautiful runners and mats are made by 100 women working at home, bringing the work to be washed and finished at BAWU by 2 staff working there. Formed in 1947 to cope with medical emergencies during the war, it now promotes Palestinian food, arts and crafts, marketing items with strict quality control ensuring sustainable development. They aim to provide work opportunities for poor people in the Bethlehem area. Lack of tourism has resulted in a severe drop in sales and marketing is severely limited as travel permits to Jerusalem are rarely given. BAWU maintains a Folklore Museum. Their charitable work is very diminished through lack of donations; however, like other Palestinians, the women involved prefer work to charity: “When you give work to people you give them life and courage and produce peace.” A Palcrafts grant in 2006 was used for a fax machine, sewing machine and product labels. In 2016 our grant gave them a computer and professional printer.