“After the days of the olives I will finally be engaged and then, soon, I will get married.” Rami Awayes, is 28; it seemed impossible to him until a few years ago, but now he will finally get engaged and will get married in October, “after the olives”, which means after the harvest days. “All this is thanks to this job, which really gave me so much,” he explains, “marriage is one of the most beautiful gifts, but there are many more!”
From June 2016, Rami is in charge of the Mosaic Guesthouse in Nisf Jubeil, a village of about 300 inhabitants, located on the hills of Samaria. The village is five minutes from Sabastiya, where tradition identifies the tomb of Saint John the Baptist. Here, the Mosaic Centre Jericho and the Association Pro Terra Sancta have launched some community-based business support projects. In addition to the Guesthouse, a ceramic centre has been set up. Here, ceramics are produced according to local tradition.
“I was initially involved as a workman in the restoration of some of the rooms. These where ancient Palestinian homes that we have transformed into the rooms of the Guesthouse Nisf Jubeil,” Rami says. “I now manage the Guesthouse which, in addition to me, involves some families of the village, for the washing of linen and towels and preparing breakfast …” For many, this project is really an important occasion, since in addition to the cultivation of olives and some pastoral activities, there is little else in the area.
Rami owns seven sheep and some olive trees in the family lands. “That’s not bad,” he says enthusiastically, “but in this work I learn a method and breathe a new horizon. Now I’m learning English … In short, for the first time, I’m involved in building something great. They are all initiatives that will secure a future for me, and for the whole village!”