Ashraf Jarayseh

"...we love life, we love justice, we love peace!"

My name is Ashraf Jarayseh. My family started this workshop back in the 1960’s. It’s come down through the generations from my great, great grandfather. My father taught my brother and me how to carve. I have 4 children—3 sons and 1 daughter. One of my boys is working with me now. He will be the one to carry on this family tradition.

 When I am carving, I approach it from two perspectives—one as a Christian and the other as an artist. Through the carvings I make, I feel that I carry the message of Jesus and His works. As an artist, I have a passion for this. When I am in a good mood, I make beautiful items. When I am down, I can look at what I’ve created, and it’s very rewarding. My favorite piece to work on is the Holy Family because family is so important to us.

 As a Palestinian Christian, I would love for people to come and see the Holy Land, to learn more about how we love life, we love justice, we love peace—to have a different image of us. Come see who we are with your own eyes; don’t just take the truth as what you hear on the media.