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July 2004
Diary of an artist in Bethlehem
Artwork by Paul Gent
Artwork by Paul Gent.
Leicestershire artist Paul Gent is spending the summer in Palestine working with families whilst creating some stunning art - read his diary.
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FACTS

Paul Gent is an artist from Leicestershire who has travelled to Palestine to work with families and children

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Sunday 11 July

Lay in bed until 12.30pm, just in time to greet six international Christians who have come to Palestine for two hours and just enough time to experience Shama's cooking.

I was caught by surprise by grace giving, and pretended to think of other things than tucking in, which is the normal practice in the Rishmawi household.

As all eyes went to Nimer, it appeared he was caught by surprise too. After a brief spell of silence he said 'Let's eat!'

We ate Chicken and cauliflower rice as Nimer informed the guests about the conflict, while Shama, at the other end of the table, announced that it was their 34th wedding anniversary.

Nimer gave the guests a brief tour of his workshop where he carves biblical figures from olive wood.

The workshop is divided into four areas: Olive tree trunk storage, the machine cutting room, the hand carving room, and the final varnishing table outside.

'This is the only one in Bethlehem' said Nimer proudly as he showed the group his version of the Last supper around a circular table.

'For four years, I can't sell these here; there are no tourists in Bethlehem. I have to sell them in America, when my son goes on work visits he sells some for me.'

Paul Gent

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