Our Lady of the Plains at our Workshop: Zarb, Olive Wood & Music

Our Lady of the Plains at our Workshop: Zarb, Olive Wood & Music

On 9 June, around 30 pilgrims from Our Lady of the Plains, a Catholic church in Byers, Colorado were welcomed at our workshop in Beit Sahour.

As part of a pilgrimage operated by Bethlehem Handicrafts, they visited almost every holy site in the Holy Land on a pilgrimage that lasted 9 days.

group of pilgrimage

In addition of having a guide with them all the time and a photographer, George Bannoura, co-owner of Bethlehem Handicrafts, and his family joined them throughout the whole trip.

On that Saturday afternoon, they met our artisans and watched how our olive wood statues are made.

Bannoura and Father

Then, the Bannoura family prepared chicken Zarb for them, which is basically a Bedouin barbecue, where the chicken (and some veggies) are buried together over hot coal for a few hours underground. You can add many vegetables with it like potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, garlic, onions, eggplants, and more. The pilgrims observed each step of making the Zarb.

The pilgrims observed each step of making the Zarb.

Zarb is one of the most beautiful and authentic treasures of the Bedouin culture that lived on with the Palestinians. For centuries Bedouins cooked their food underground in earth ovens since all it requires is to make a big hole in ground with some hot coals. This way of cooking was quintessential for them knowing that they were always on the move in the desert searching for water. Nowadays, however, we wrap the chicken with silver foil instead of palm leaves. Using this type of cooking tastes like no other barbecue. When timed correctly, the chicken will be perfectly cooked with smoky flavor that will last in your senses for days!

Faris played traditional instruments

Meanwhile, Faris and Laith Bannoura, the sons of Fadi Bannoura, George's brother and co-owner of Bethlehem Handicrafts, played traditional instruments while the group indulged in this delicious lunch. Their feedback was overwhelming where many declared that this meal was the best meal they ever had in the Holy Land.


Join one of our 2018/2019/2020 upcoming pilgrimages and to walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, visit the Holy Land, and get the chance to visit our workshop, to watch how our olive wood products are made!

Bethlehem Handicrafts: The Holy Land experience you’ll never forget.

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