We are pleased to announce that a selection of handmade ceramics direct from Hebron will be sold at the Festival of Friendship on 23 June, 2012, at Leichhardt Town Hall in Sydney. All proceeds will go to support our kindergarden projects in the South Hebron Hills. These ceramics have been produced in the Hebron Glass and Ceramics Factory. You can read more about the Factory and the story of its owners, Mr Hamdi and his brother:
Mr. Hamdi – who runs the Hebron Glass & Ceramics Factory together with his brother -started working when he was 17, in 1967. Nowadays, he exclusively deals with administrative aspects, but he is still capable to tell which one of his workers did which piece just by looking at it. Glass alone is not profitable anymore however. It only makes up 25% of the factory’s production nowadays. The remaining 75% are ceramics, which Mr. Hamdi and his brother started making some years ago, in order to stay open and competitive. They learned from scratch, with the help of books and specialized workers they hired. Today, out of the 25 people who work in the factory, four of them only are glass-blowers, while 15 work in ceramics. The Natsheh brothers and their workers also try to keep clients coming to them by being creative, inventing new pieces all the time and accepting any special order.
There are some days when Mr. Hamdi’s workers produce more than they sell. Still, they cannot afford to close the factory even for one day. “If the oven doesn’t work, the tourists don’t come,” says Mr. Hamdi matter-of-factly. Unfortunately, tourists often use Road 6 to come to Hebron, which does not pass by his shop. He tells the story of how some visitors do not dare to buy his merchandise, afraid it is going to get them in trouble at the Israeli checkpoints.
He recalls an occasion when tourists came to his factory and left without buying anything because they were worried. Instead, they went to Tel Aviv to get his products. There, they got ripped off, so they ended up coming back and buying from him after all.
The source for this information is http://www.palestinemonitor.org