Tuesday, July 6, 2010


I love home stays. I get a warm fuzzy feeling when someone has genuinely opened their home to others. Plus they take you places.
As many may know the kuffiyeh, the white scarf with black checkers, has become synonymous with Palestinian solidarity. Unfortunately, somewhere during the past 5 years or so it has also become trendy. Which not only means there are a lot of folks wearing it without any idea of what it represents, but that there is a high demand for them. Since there has been a high demand, China has been manufacturing A LOT of them for cheap. It's what China does. Between that, and the fact that occupation makes exporting difficult, there is one kuffiyeh factory left in the West Bank. Yes, just one.
Enter the amazing home stay I have been blessed with. I asked the dad if he could take Derek, Jenna and myself there some time. The factory is just outside of the center of Hebron, and when we arrived it was closed, but luckily a Hirbawi (the family that owns the place) was there and the dad asked politely if he could open the shop for us. So Hirbawi did.
The factory has 15 machines, but because of the decline in demand only 2 machines are running.

I was so very excited to be in there, but it was sad to see all the neglected machines.

Since we were going to Hebron, the family wanted to make an evening out of it, so two other families met up with us and we had a wonderful barbecue in this place that overlooked a valley and by night fall we could see the lights on the coast. It was beautiful.

Oh, and Derek made friends with a snake.

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