Youth Entrepreneurs & Peace

Broadcast on September 07, 2012
With Priya Samant & Rami Zarrouk

Rami Zarrouk

Co-Founder, Bethlehem Hands

Bethlehem Hands was established by Rami Zarrouk, Maysoun Zarrouk and Aida Zarrouk, a Christian Palestinian grandmother whose family has lived in Bethlehem for generations. Bethlehem Hands works with local women artisans who produce embroidered fabrics made into beautifully handcrafted accessories, women’s apparel and decorative items. The colorful designs are based on the traditional patterns worn by Palestinian women during the last century.

The artisans who make these products live in Bethlehem but the embroidery designs reflect influences from many regions in Palestine. Each of the artisans has a unique story: a husband who can’t find work, a family member who is sick and needs extra care, a single mother, or a handicap that limits outside employment. Of course, these are universal stories of hardship – but these artisans are struggling with these challenges in a region beset by daily turmoil and unrest as well as economic hardship. Bethlehem Hands has been created to help these women. The income derived from selling these products goes directly to the artisans to support their families, provide them some economic stability and help them live in harmony with their neighbors. Rami and Maysoun are the proud parents of three boys who keep them very busy.