The Iskafiya (cobblers) market in Hebron’s Old City suffers from a poor economic situation. The main reason for the difficult status quo is the Israeli occupation and its continuous attacks aimed at paralyzing the economic and tourist life in the Old City.
Hebron Rehabilitation Committee (HRC) seeks to activate tourism and promotes the best in the area as part of its plan to revive the economic situation in Hebron’s Old City. Towards that end, HRC has successfully renovated a property that belongs to al-Dwaik family and that is going to be utilized as a glass factory.
In that regard, the Director General of HRC, Emad Hamdan, pointed out that the city of Hebron is famous for its traditional industries, particularly glass and ceramic industries. These with their different forms and beautiful designs that include motifs of grape vineyards and the minarets of the Ibrahimi Mosque, could attract tourists. Hebron’s Old City still lacks tourist enterprises. To fill the gap, HRC has sought to renovate this building to be used as a glass factory. An exhibition of the products of the factory is hoped to open soon.
Hamdan also indicated that this building, at the heart of the Iskafiya market, was chosen for its proximity to the Ibrahimi Mosque, thus a strategic location.
Hamdan stated that HRC initiated this project after Hebron has been awarded the title of World Crafts City by the World Crafts Council. Hebron’s Old City has also been declared a world heritage site by UNESCO. These achievements are expected to enhance tourism in the Old City in various forms, including religious and historical and recreational types. That requires upgrading infrastructure services, opening parks, and providing tourist guides and maps among others.
Hamdan remarked that models of traditional industries and handicraft centers are lacking from traditional tourist routes and hopes, through the implementation of this project, that it will be the beginning of a series of projects that revive tourism and economy in the Hebron’s Old City.