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Bethlehem's position as an important Christian city has for centuries attracted a constant stream of pilgrims. This generated much local work and income, also for women, including making mother-of-pearl souvenirs. According to Weir, Bethlehem women's employment in the mother-of-pearl industry goes back at least to the seventeenth century. It was noted by Richard Pococke, who travelled there in 1727. 
The first exhibition in the west of mother-of-pearl artifacts from Palestine was at The World Fair in New York in 1852. Two brothers, Giries and Ibrahim Mansur, exhibited their work and were a great success.
- Weir, Shelagh (1989). Palestinian Costume, London: British Museum Publications Ltd. ISBN 0-7141-2517-2. (exhibition catalog)
- Pococke, Richard (1811): A General Collection of the Best and Most Interesting Voyages and Travels in All Parts of the World: Many of which are Now First Translated Into English, (Popocke starts at p.406.)
- Mother of Pearl A Traditional Palestinian Craft By Saleem Zougbi, Based on the book, “Nacar di Palestina” by Enrique Jidi, Colombia.
- Tourist Products Palestine-family.net, 23.01.2007, Based on the book, "Bethlehem, The Immortal Town" by Giries Elali
|This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Mother-of-Pearl carving in Bethlehem. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.|