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November 3, 2009
Ancient Palestinian craft still intact amid globalization

Earlier this year while I was reporting from the West Bank, I visited the historic Palestinian city of Hebron where a craft that dates back to the times of the Phoenicians may be headed for extinction.

Pottery, glass and ceramic making are ancient industries in Hebron, Palestine. The city’s leather, stone, glass and ceramic goods are found throughout Palestinian, Israeli and Arab markets — but this is changing with the advent of economic globalization and fierce competition from inexpensive Chinese goods. Additionally, the political instability that has plagued the region for many years scares away tourists.

Emad El Natche and his family own and operate a Hebron glass and ceramics factory. Mr. El Natche spends hours in front of a gas oven melting recycled glass bottles at high temperatures. No two pieces that Mr. El Natche creates are alike; he prides himself on the attention to detail each piece gets. He says all of his creations are unique because of the process that no machine can replicate.

Despite the challenges from globalization and a lack of master craftsmen, El Natche remains hopeful that this ancient craft is not going to disappear without a fight.

– Mohammad al Kassim

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Comments

26 comments

#26

To Son of Al-Quds. You not only have your imaginary numbers wrong, but your facts wrong. There were the armies of your friends: Egypt, Jordan, Syria with support from Sadam’s Iraq, and Libya. All attacking Israel.

And it was Arafat, Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Fatah, AL Aqsa Murderers, introducing the new weapon: suicide bombers to blow-up civilian
Israelis , Jew or Moslem, maiming or killing thousands of innocents.

The suicide bombers were promised 500 virgins, and their families received from Saudi Arabia $25,000 dollars. And the Palestinians proudly showed videos of these fanatics, and distributed candies during the celebrations. Bibi predicted that these tactics will spread, and sure enough, now islamofascists are doing the same of blowing-up civilians in Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the islamic countries.

Israel build the wall to protect itself, and captures would be terrorists daily in the West Bank and Judeah and Samariah.

Israel will defend itself.

#25

The “Palestinians” never had an army because they were never a nation. But King David had an army 3000 years ago. Jews are a nation. “Palestinians” are a hoax. If there really ever was a Palestinian nation, they would already have had a state centuries ago. The Jewish state was destroyed by repeated invasions of large empires, but they always came back, only to be invaded and occupied again. The last large empire that destroyed and dispersed us were the Romans. Now the Iranians are hoping to repeat it. I hope not.

#24

# 22, The Intifada started because Sharon went to the Muslim Holy site with 2000 heavely armed soldiers and policemen, and the wars began because Israel invaded the West Bank and Gaza? THe Palestinians have never had an army to invade to occupy: from ottman ocupation, to British, to Jordainian, to Israeli. So save your selective moralism and be honest for a second with yourselves, you JGE, and J garbuz

#23

to #s 20 & 21, my numbers are based on the UN and it documents, and on eye wittness reports of people who are still living in refugee camps. What are your numbers based on MR. Honesty. You want me to use my name, what about your name? what does JGE stand for? David Hoffman used to call you Just Got Educated and its seems to that it fits

#22

To Son of Jerusalem #19: One more perfect example of your Lie. I watch report one more time, but Master Emad didn’t mention “occupation”, He sad, “wars and intifada scare away tourists. But all wars and intifadas stareted by Arab(Palestinians)! Stop your Cheap Lie!

#21

To Son of Al-Quds.

Get your numbers right, otherwise you lose credibility that you hardly have with your non-sense comments. Also start using your right name, be proud of your Arab name, do not steal Jewish names.

I was concerned you would still and evaporate.

#20

To Son of Al-Quds.

Get your numbers right, otherwise you lose credibility that you hardly have with your non-sense comments. Also start using your right name
and do not still Jewish names.

#19

# 16, that means you did not listen to one word of the report. The Palestinian man was saying “because of the occupation his job is suffering.” which means that the occupation is not good and bad for everything the Palestinians are aspiring to do.

#18

#12, Jews are adament about the annihilation of Palestinian culture, land and people. in 1948, the Israeli army drove almost 1000,000 Palestinians out and then the Israeli state began the process of cleansing Historic Palestine of its people. Now your claiming Palestinian culture and craft to be yours. If the Israeli want to be accepted, they must accept others

#17

The man was coached. It was palpably visible from the get-go. I see a concerted effort on WorldFocus to cast Arabs/Muslims in a more positive light as to counterbalance negative stereotypes.

#16

For me this report disprove and denial Arab propaganda Myth about “occupants oppression and genocide of Palestinians”

#15

Hello,

We will look into the technical issues with posting comments on the site.

Thanks for reading.

#14

I e-mailed the problem to the site, no answer yet. Maybe there are other words that are on a glitch.

#13

There is a glitch in the site of not accepting blogs for certain words:

If you type the word (I will do it vertically which is OK, but horizontallu is not accepted):

c
l
a
s
s

OR

g
l
a
s
s

So if you type middle c….., the site blocks the message!!

#12

Everyone wants to deny Jewish rights not only to their land but even the crafts and professions they invented. Either the guy in Hebron is a descendant of Jews, or his ancestors learned it from the Jews.

#11

I do need to look at anything, if Germans make shoes and French make shoes.None can claim that this his or not. This very craft is Palestinian by nature. You have stolen Palestine, I will not be surprised if you claim its crafts too. Wikipedia!!!!! what is the scholarly value of that site?????

#10

not only yours, most of mine are not posted either

#9

Look up the Wikipedia article on the origin of this craft.

#8

Why are my posts being blocked on this site?

#7

# 5 so was Humus and Falafel, very funy and telling about your idea of colonialism.

#6

What an awesome story, very riveting and uplifting. May peace be with all of you no matter your religious affiliation- we are all human beings.

#5

It was an ALL JEWISH CRAFT IN ANCIENT TIMES IN JUDEA! You can check it out in encyclopedias.

#4

Superb shots of Emad’s glassblowing.

It’s also very interesting from a historical perspective how he cites the Phoenicians. While that is a common reference in Lebanon, in Israel/Palestine, the Hebrews/Philistines are more commonly mentioned when talking about the Levant region 3000 years ago.

#3

In disscussing the Arab-Israeli conflict one tends to overlook what goes on in the daily life of a human being living under occupation,we still see the desire to succeed and be able to give back.Nice different spin than the usual coming out of that part of the world .

#2

This is very interesting

#1

Great work, Mohammad. It’s great to see World Focus focusing on stories not often seen in the mainstream. Keep us posted on El Natche’s factory.

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