Preserving the Palestinian tradition is at the heart of Holy Land Handicraft. Through unique craftsmanship full of value and heritage, Holy Land Handicraft strives to empower Palestinian makers and preserve the beautiful Palestinian tradition.
Raja Bannoura, Layla’s late husband began a small workshop working on Bethlehem’s special crafts in 1974, along with his sister, brother and father. They started the workshop with poor woodworking tools, but a big heart and determination. This workshop grew to provide employment for 20 other artisans.
Before passing away in 2019, he asked Layla to keep the workshop open so that their employees could keep working and have a better quality of life.
Her husband’s wish and obligation to give people a better life gave Layla the strength to move forward.
“I love to see the olivewood tools and artisans working again, I feel that my husband is present, seeing that his mission is still alive.”
Layla encouraged her son Adi to be in charge of the workshop with her, working as a woodcarver like his father. Today, Adi helps his mother, assisting her in the workshop. He also works as treasurer at HLHCS.
Layla is an example of a Palestinian woman; challenged by traditions, religion, peacebuilding, political circumstances and family responsibilities. She is an inspiration of a woman who works for the betterment of society, in whatever capacity she can- with the trust and support given to her by her family.