Al Jalameh Women's Association

Conscious Choices
Al Jalameh Women's Association

   Al Jalameh, the closest point of departure to the city of Nazareth from the West Bank, is where the ugly checkpoint which carries the name of the village is located, and unfortunately this is what the name has come to be most often associated with. That being said, Al Jalameh has a long history of innovation, community activism, and agricultural activity. Its inhabitants are famous for building cooperatives and working together. The Women’s Cooperative in Al-Jalameh is comprised of a collective of 40 women who have invested in 20 dunums to grow pumpkin, luffa, and safflower. They are also planning to start planting strawberries. Now the cooperative owns five dunums and the women are trained in product design and packaging. The cooperative has a gym, a workshop for loofah production, and several greenhouses. Products include pumpkin jam, loofahs, several types of medicinal herbs, homemade traditional Palestinian food like groats (Burghul) and Freekeh, Palestinian thyme dukkah, in addition to fresh produce and traditional hand-made products.

   Manar Sha’ban is an entrepreneur, artist and mother, who is an example of the determination and women activism in Al-Jalameh. She takes us to the roof of the cooperative to get a panoramic view of the village. The outstanding landscape offers you the chance to see beyond the occupation’s imposed boundaries that separate families from each other and from their lands. As we enjoy this panoramic view, Manar explains the local traditions of wedding celebrations that include zajal and traditional folkloric songs that all neighbouring villages used to participate in.

   The cooperative members were aspiring to turn a caravan into the shop they have always dreamed of, a place that would showcase their produce in a chic way, in addition to a bakery and a stop-and–go coffeeshop in a strategic location close to Jalameh checkpoint. Sadly, the women of Al Jalameh had to give up this dream when the Israeli army ordered them to reallocate their caravan from its location under the threat of demolition; hence, the idea of the coffee shop and bakery was no longer feasible.

   Al Jalameh women are pioneers in growing pumpkins in greenhouses in Palestine and they adopt safe farming practices (e.g. by using limited amounts of chemicals).

Product Availability: Year-round.
Volunteering Opportunities Volunteers are welcome.

Product Selling Points: Association Shop .

Other Services: Organizing tours for groups and introduce them to their work and farming techniques, all while offering a traditional Palestinian lunch.