3 (Copy)Bethlehem, Palestine (March 5th, 2016) – On the March 5th, 2016, Bethlehem Museum celebrated its first year anniversary, as well as the grand opening of the Museum’s Al-Karmeh Restaurant and Al-Khan Gift Shop. Citizens, delegates, and government officials from the Bethlehem community and the surrounding area joined in the ceremony to commemorate the momentous occasion.

DSCF0239 (Copy)Bethlehem community members enjoy opening remarks at Bethlehem Museum’s First Year Anniversary Celebration – March 5th, 2016

The ceremony began with a welcoming speech from Mr. Yousef Abu Taa, Bethlehem Museum Manager, explaining the history and mission of the museum and acknowledging the significant role that the Museum plays in preserving Palestinian identity, history and culture. He emphasized that the museum should not be regarded only as a building that houses historical and cultural objects, but an important step toward recognizing and appreciating Palestinian contributions to the region and world.

After a special tour, the guests visited the Museum’s newly opened Al-Khan gift shop. They were fascinated by the beauty of the handmade gifts and souvenirs made from olivewood, ceramic, glass, and embroidery produced by local artists. Al-Khan Gift Shop also makes available food products from local cooperatives, as well as antique gifts.

DSCF0259 (Copy)Guests view paintings by Palestinian artist, Saheer Jaouni – March 5th, 2016

The festivities included a gallery exhibition of painting by Palestinian artist, Saheer Jaouni. The guests were impressed with the beauty and power of her artwork, which touched on themes of life in Palestine.

DSCF0279 (Copy)Guests enjoy refreshments at Bethlehem Museum’s Al-Karmeh Restaurant – March 5th, 2016

The event ended with a celebration at the Museum’s Al-Karmeh Restaurant, where guests enjoyed refreshments in the restaurant’s antique Palestinian décor. For more information about Bethlehem Museum, Al-Karmeh Restaurant, or Al-Khan Gift Shop, please visit our website: www.bethlehemmuseum.com or contact us at: info@bethlehemmuseum.com.