At Elevate Destinations, we love sharing our travels when we come home from a trip through stories and souvenirs that transport us right back. This year, bring the enchanting magic of Middle Eastern markets to your friends and family! Our handpicked list of retailers support local communities and economies. Shop globally and impactfully this year to come back to the spark that inspires you to open your mind to far away places and people.
Image above: Artisans handcraft shoes in Palestine, courtesy of Darzah.
- Safi Crafts – Support rural Jordanian women while bringing joy to your loved ones this holiday season with one-of-a-kind textiles made from natural dyes and fabrics in Jordan. Safi Crafts “raises awareness on the role of women in empowering the local community in Jordan through the design and production of textile based handicrafts that narrate the history, culture, and natural identity of the Dead Sea region.”
- SEP Jordan – Most of the SEP Artists are refugees who live in Jordan’s Jerash “Gaza” refugee camp and work alongside a group of Syrian refugees. They delicately hand-embroider linens, bedding and clothing with geometric patterns inspired by Islamic geometry and Palestinian heritage. The Artists are trained at the SEP-Tamari Foundation Academy and paid weekly, above market rates, for each creation they produce – allowing them to earn a living & provide for their families and community. As a Certified B Corp, you can be certain that your purchases at SEP Jordan will have a positive impact on the lives of its team and the environment.
- Jordan River Designs – Established in 1996 in Jabal Al Natheef, Al Karmah Embroidery Center employs local women artisans who craft traditional and contemporary handmade embroidery products, which include everything from home furnishings, to gift items, to fashion accessories. Set up to support women seeking extra income, the project also aims to maintain and promote the heritage of handicrafts, offering a variety of products representing Jordan’s traditional and visual arts.
- 7Hills is a community based non-for-profit that works to create safe public spaces, activate them through free-of-charge activities and our skateboarding program to establish youth empowerment and engagement programs for local, migrant and refugee kids in Jordan. 7Hills is focussed on harmonizing social, economic, gender, and religious diversity through our local and outreach Skateboarding and informal education programs.Purchase, cotton t-shirts, sweatshirts or bags with handprinted designs, for your loved ones this year – all profits go directly to 7Hills to support the youth in Jordan. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to order. They ship worldwide!
- Hebron Glass – Located in the historic West Bank city of Hebron, well-known for its traditional glass-blowing. Hebron Glass operates three main workshops in Hebron, in addition to artisans who work in their own homes. Some 60 artisans, women and men, work with Hebron Glass, earning excellent income and benefiting from safe working environments.
- Women in Hebron – A women’s cooperative that seeks to economically empower Palestinian women and their families, as well as encourage the passing down of Palestinian culture and traditional handicraft products to younger generations. Shop for beautiful handmade woven and embroidered rugs, scarves, bags and more.
- Anat International – A genderless, slow-fashion clothing brand with garments designed and made in Palestine.
- Darzah -Each Darzah creation is entirely handmade by their talented artisans in the West Bank. Their team has grown to include six full-time and 22 part-time workers from Zababdeh and neighboring regions. These women specialize in Palestinian tatreez embroidery, a traditional art form that has been passed down from mother to daughter for centuries. Every tatreez motif holds significant meaning that shares a story in each stitch.
- Sunbula – A Jerusalem-based, non-profit, fair trade organization that supports marginalized women and communities in Palestine through traditional artisan crafts. Their online shop is filled with crafts, clothing and accessories that showcase traditional techniques and designs.
- Sindyanna – With Sindyanna, Arab farmers are able to sell their crop under fair conditions. The other goal of Sindyanna is to provide work for women, where work opportunities are scarce. At their warehouse, both Jewish and Arab women are in charge of labeling, packaging, and preparing products for shipping. It is the only facility in the area that employs women. Sindyanna’s cold-pressed organic olive oil and their traditional olive oil soap are must haves!
Various Middle Eastern Countries
- Central Asia Institute’s 2022 Calendar – The breathtaking photos of women and children in Central Asia will put smiles on your loved ones’ faces. And the gift of a 2022 calendar keeps giving. Proceeds from calendar sales help advance education and livelihood skills in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Tajikistan – so women and children will be smiling too. This year, make the holidays a little brighter for friends and family – and for women and children who dream of a better future. Order one of these beautiful, full-size wall calendars today to ensure it arrives in time for the holidays. Just $18 each! Order a calendar online or send CAI an email at email@example.com.
- Atharna – The name “Athama,’ symbolizes legacy. The brand supports Middle Eastern economies and artisans while sharing its culture through art. Buy your friends and family beautiful ceramics, homeware and contemporary clothing and accessories with dazzling Middle Eastern design.
- Turquoise Mountain – This amazing company aims to revive historic areas and traditional crafts, to create jobs, skills and a renewed sense of pride. They work in Afghanistan, Myanmar, and the Middle East. I dare you to resist these beautiful, handcrafted arts.
- Soufra Cookbook – Soufra is an Arabic word, meaning a big beautiful table of bountiful food. This cookbook was created by incredible women of the Burj el-Barajneh refugee camp in Lebanon. Mariam Shaar, born in the refugee camp, brought women together who found connections and meaning through their cooking. Mariam and her community developed Soufra Catering, a food truck and now a cookbook! This cookbook, and the affiliated documentary film also titled Soufra, by Rebelhouse Group, accompanies Mariam on her journey of empowerment by developing a thriving business that employs the women of Burj el-Barajneh. Purchases of the cookbook directly supports the entrepreneurial women of Burj el-Barajneh.
Consider purchasing books this year from BetterWorldBooks.com or local, black-owned bookstores in your state.