In Palestine camels are used mostly by Bedouins, nomadic people of the desert. They are jokingly referred to as desert Ferraris. Camels can travel great distances across hot deserts with little food or water. They walk easily on soft sand where trucks would get stuck, and they carry people and heavy loads to places that have no roads. Wearing this brooch can be a great reminder of Jesus’ call to serve those who are struggling to survive in situations of need.
About this Traditional Palestinian Craft
The making of jewellery and decorative items from Mother of Pearl is perhaps Bethlehem’s oldest and most established industry. The practice supposedly came to Bethlehem in the 15th century with the arrival of Franciscan friars. Locals soon mastered the art and made a modest living selling handmade items to the many pilgrims who streamed into Bethlehem. Traditionally, the sea shells and abalone were brought in from the Port of Aqaba on the Red Sea but now they are imported from Australia, California, New Zealand, and Brazil. Palestinian Christians, particularly the Zoughbi family in Bethlehem, have often received international recognition for their mastery of this art form. For more information about the history of Mother of Pearl Carving in Palestine, visit the 2007 publication of “This Week in Palestine”.