This Catholic family in Bethlehem has carved Nativity scenes for popes and presidents | Catholic News Agency

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Around the corner from the spot where Jesus was born in Bethlehem, a Catholic family runs a small workshop carving Nativity scenes out of olive wood.

The Zakharia Brothers woodworking factory has made handcarved Nativity scenes for popes, prime ministers, and presidents.

Alber Zakharia standing outside his family’s workshop in Bethlehem. Courtney Mares / CNA
Alber Zakharia standing outside his family’s workshop in Bethlehem. Courtney Mares / CNA

Alber Zakharia’s corner office is decorated with photos of famous figures holding his family’s wooden statues, from Pope Benedict XVI to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. 

President Joe Biden also received one of their Nativity scenes from the mayor of Bethlehem during his visit to Palestine earlier this year.

But Zakharia is even more proud to show off the manger scenes that were handcarved by his late father and grandfather for the business that has been in his family for generations…

This Catholic family in Bethlehem has carved Nativity scenes for popes and presidents | Catholic News Agency

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