hadeel shop christmas gifts (10)

Looking for Fair Trade presents this Christmas? Want to shop in peaceful surroundings just two minutes’ walk from Princes Street? Hadeel in George Street offers you a wonderful selection of Palestinian crafts and foods, the sale of which provides a sustainable source of income for craftspeople working with social enterprises in the West Bank, Gaza, Galilee and the Negev.

Beautiful cushions, wall hangings, table mats, scarves, bags (from evening purses to handbags, backpacks and even bags for tablets) and stoles are displayed in the shop, alongside jewellery, rugs, wood and ceramics. Palestinian handcrafts have always been living examples of ethnic art, deeply rooted in Palestinian folklore; they have now become a symbol of the people and their striving for a normal way of life with a national identity, in the face of the occupation of their land.

Foods include fabulous olive oils, jams, marmalades, coffee, rice, dates, almonds, spices and much more. All stock can be purchased individually, and Hadeel also offers gift baskets containing various selections of delicious items from £21.50. Books on Palestine are also available – from political studies to fiction, poetry and mouth-watering recipe collections.

For Christmas there are some very pretty decorations made in the Holy Land, including olive wood nativity scenes hand carved in Bethlehem and felt angels and snowmen. Making beautiful crafts helps people psychologically to survive during long hours and days when they are not permitted to travel because of barriers and restrictions.

Children are well catered for at Hadeel, with everything from embroidered baby bibs to friendship bands and felt sheep, and there are also soaps made from olive oils, pomegranates, lemons – even Dead Sea mud!

Hadeel is owned by Palcrafts, whose work also helps to sustain infrastructures, as many of the producer groups also provide health, education and emergency services in their communities, communities that lack any form of local government which might provide things that we, for all our complaining about our local authority, take for granted.

Any surplus made on the sale of goods is gift aided to Palcrafts, which distributes small development grants to its producers. In the past it has provided items such as a digital camera, a computer, a printer, storage equipment, a laminating machine, English and computer literacy courses, an industrial sewing machine and two electric carding machines. It also organizes educational tours to the producer groups, which include the Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children, Gaza, the Oasis Workshop for People with Special Needs, Beit Sahour and the Friends of the Sick, Ramallah.

Hadeel is at 123 George Street and is open 10am-5pm Monday to Saturday. The shop also offers mail order: see its website for full details.

hadeel fair trade palestinian crafts