A Thousand and One Smiles at the Abraham's House Christmas Bazaar

By: Florence Budry/lpj.org - Published: December 01 Wed, 2021

A Thousand and One Smiles at the Abraham's House Christmas Bazaar Available in the following languages:

JERUSALEM - On Saturday, November 27, a large Christmas market was organised by the Abraham's House (Secours Catholique - Caritas France), under the responsibility of Sylvie Thibaud and her husband Bernard, the Director of the House. With more than 60 exhibitors and nearly 700 visitors, this event, supported by the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, was dedicated to women's crafts from the Holy Land.

The exhibitors, self-employed women from the Silwan district supported by the "Women's Center Al Thouri" association (association for the promotion of women and the defence of women's rights), mostly Muslims, joined nine Catholic Religious Communities who also make a living from their crafts: the Benedictine Sisters of Abu Gosh, Jerusalem and the Emmanuel Monastery in Bethlehem, the Brigittine Sisters of Jerusalem, the Carmelite Sisters of the Pater Noster of Jerusalem and those of Mount Carmel in Haifa, the Sisters of the Community of the Beatitudes of Emmaus Nicopolis, the Sisters of Our Lady of the Assumption of Beit Gemal as well as the Little Sisters of Jesus of Jerusalem. This day highlighted the courage and talent of these women who support their families and communities with their work.

Many volunteers were mobilized to organize this festive day of meeting and sharing: international students and volunteers, Religious Sisters and Brothers, seminarians, expatriates, some of whom came especially from Jaffa, Galilee or Ramallah, and of course the whole team of Abraham's House. All appreciated the joyful availability of the Sisters, the warm professionalism of the women of Silwan and the serene radiance of Bernard and Sylvie.

In the bright sun, mingling with the inhabitants of the neighbourhood and international visitors, a wide variety of families came to enjoy this festive and friendly atmosphere, chatting with the exhibitors, admiring the stalls and the panorama offered from Abraham's House, savouring the local specialities, while enjoying the entertainment that marked the day: a party illustrating a Palestinian wedding, clowns for the children, a Palestinian oud concert...The improvised dance between the women of Silwan and the nuns for the inauguration of this day of mutual aid, spontaneously testified to the shared joy of this unique encounter.

Bishop William Shomali, Vicar General of the Latin Patriarchate and Bishop Boulos Marcuzzo, Vicar Emeritus, honoured this event with their presence, strolling for a long time among the crowd, making numerous purchases, distributing smiles and encouragement to all the exhibitors. The Consul General of France, Mr. René Troccaz, the Consul General of Belgium, Mr. Wilfried Pfeiffer, and the Representative of the European Union for Jerusalem and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Mr Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff, also supported this initiative by their friendly presence.

Faithful to its mission, with respect and delicacy, Abraham's House welcomed visitors and participants in the universal joy that the Christmas celebrations offer every year, while allowing the women of the Holy Land to promote with dignity a living and generous craft.