ROME: Italy’s capital city will host the Palestinian Christmas Bazaar this weekend, with food, live music, folk dancing, free workshops and traditional handicrafts on offer.
The event takes place Dec. 11 and 12 at the Container, a huge venue in the popular San Lorenzo neighborhood — one of Rome’s liveliest areas.
An exhibition of work by Palestinian photojournalist Issam Rimawi, entitled “Roses Bloomed at Christmas,” will be on display at the bazaar, and Palestinian chef Hanan Samara will prepare a special hummus dish followed by dinner with typical Middle Eastern drinks on Saturday. On Sunday, a Palestinian Christmas brunch will be served.
Palestinian cinema will feature heavily on Sunday, with screenings selected by director Kami Fares, while actresses Dalal Suleiman and Hanin Tarabay are also involved in the event. Tarabay will present a traditional Christmas tale, and will also recite some of Najwan Darwish’s poems in Arabic.
Traditional handicrafts on sale will include pottery; holiday-themed decorations made from olive wood; fabrics that have been hand-embroidered in the local ‘tatreez’ style; soap made in Nablus; incense and essential oils; traditional keffiyeh headdresses and more.
All proceeds from the sale of these items will go directly to Palestinian artisans, according to the organizers of the bazaar — Rania Hammad, Nasmia Mallah and Sara Alawia, founders of the Falastin Festival and the startup project Ya Amar, which is funded by the European Commission.
They hope that such events can promote the work of Palestinian women and artisans “by creating a bridge between the diaspora and the motherland, strengthening community and solidarity, and promoting Palestinian cultural heritage and female empowerment.”