Ma’an lil-Hayat (Together for Life), Bethlehem, with a new branch in the village of Dar Salah near Bethlehem, is the first and only wool-felting project in Palestine.
Founded in August 2009, people with and without intellectual disabilities make felted-wool ornaments, nativity sets, and other gift items. Raw wool is purchased from local shepherds (benefiting the local economy) and the whole process of cleaning, carding, dyeing, felting and drying is done by members.
A project of the International Federation of L’Arche Communities, Ma’an lil-Hayat, with 23 producers, “is a place where we discover and share our gifts through relationships of friendship and trust.” Workers are given a weekly stipend, experiencing the joy of earning money through working. Maha Ghareeb, director, and Suha, a speech therapist, came to Scotland in 2011. Hadeel has funded 2 electric carding machines for Ma’an, who are now in new premises. They have succeeded in getting donations for a new more industrial size electric carding machine so that the carded wool now is better quality and the work much quicker.