Mother-of-Pearl carving in Bethlehem
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.
Present day products, include crosses, earrings, brooches and picture frames.
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- Tourist Products, Palestine-family.net]
- Weir, p.128, 280, n.30
- A Description of the East and Some other Countries, p. 436
- Bethlehem municipality website
- Tourist Products, Palestine-family.net, 23.01.2007, Source:"Bethlehem, The Immortal Town" by Giries Elali
- 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.)