The 2020 Bedouin Embroidery Project was our third annual project employing local Bedouin women originally organized by Father Moses of Sinai. For the first two projects, we left material to be sewn and embroidered, and picked up again at a later date to be transported and sold in the US. For our third project, by far our largest yet, we chose to have the finished items donated to the St. Catherine Monastery bookstores. This allows the initial donation that benefits the Bedouin women and widows, to then be magnified in value and directly benefit St. Catherine's Monastery. This year's project was tote bags. We hope to have a different and more diverse range of items 2021 to donate to the monastery bookstores.
In addition to this project, we providentially met another one of Father Moses' previous Bedouin seamstress/embroidery groups as we walked up to the trail-head leading to St. John Climacus' Cave. Their work was so incredibly beautiful, we bought as much as we could and brought it back with us to be sold here. We are presently listing these items in the Studion Ministries Store. It is our hope to purchase much more from these women in the future, and attempt to more broadly sell their items here in the US.
Though the coronavirus is interfering with our plans, and certainly will interfere with the St. Catherine Monastery Bookstores' ability to sell these donated Bedouin sewn and embroidered items, at least these women, who already live on the edge financially, had some income that might help them get through this current crisis which has stalled their local economy that heavily depends on tourism.