06 March 2017

Shorouq Society for Women, a 'light' in Bethany

The Shorouq Society for Women of the small village in Samaria breathes new life into women and locals with the production of soaps and candles in collaboration with ATS Pro Terra Sancta.

Archaeology, Culture, and other Religions

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General Director - Shorouq Society For Women
"My name is Fatima Faroun and I am the director of this organization.
I come from Bethany, from a large family. I have a background in education.
We founded this organization, Shoruq Society For Women, fourteen years ago, in 2002. Shoruq means dawn: we want to be a light in the lives of the women from Bethany and from the surrounding area.”

General Director - Shorouq Society For Women
"Our goal is to bring about social change in the community, according to its needs, and this is achieved through our vision of taking responsibility for women, from a social, economic and political point of view.”

Based on this initial intuition, Fatima outlined, with other collaborators, the program of the Association of Bethany, a small village where Jesus resurrected Lazarus from the dead. Today, the Shorouq Society for Women operates in various areas and with various initiatives, which include peace projects for schools, summer camps for young Israelis and Palestinians, special projects for women suffering from breast cancer, cooking classes and the production of soaps and candles, the latter in collaboration with the ProTerra Sancta Association, the NGO of the Custody.

ATS – Pro Terra Sancta Association
"Bethany has a close relationship with the female figure, since the days of Martha and Mary. This inspired us to work with the village women's association to produce oils, ointments and soaps to be sold to the pilgrims and the tourists and to therefore receive financial benefit."

General Director - Shorouq Society For Women
"The first course began in October and ended in late January 2017. This course teaches how to make products related to the history of Bethany.”

Project coordinator - Shorouq Society For Women
"We produce natural soaps made with natural oils that are typical of this area, such as olive oil or coconut oil to which we add perfumes from natural resources, as well as aromatic plants like mint, rosemary or merimee.”

We do not just make soaps ... The second project, the engraving of the typical places of Bethany and the rest of the Holy Land on the candles began in early December 2016 and has been held by a professional artist from Beit Jala.

Project coordinator - Shorouq Society For Women
"We take the white candles and we melt them at a specific temperature. We choose the color blue because most of our molds are churches or mosques ... Then we color them and they are finally ready to be sold! We select a group of women, who will learn this craft in order to start a career that will give them an opportunity to earn money in the future.”

Course participant
"There are many courses (given by this foundation) from which I benefited, like the one that teaches you how to make candles, the one in education and the one that uses natural raw materials. I will probably be able to work on my own project in the future, so I can say that this is a great initiative.”