The next stop on our tour was the Armenian ceramics store and museum run by the Balians, who are not a typical east Jerusalem family. Neshan, the patriarch of the family, was an Armenian from Turkey who moved to Israel in the 1920s together with his friend, Megerdish Karakashian, as part of a British government delegation brought to Jerusalem to restore the Dome of the Rock with Armenian tiles.
The two of them opened a ceramic workshop, which they ran together for several decades. Both Balian and Karakashian raised their families here since Armenians were being persecuted back in their native Turkey. After the two friends had died, their families split the business and the Balian Ceramics shop is still thriving to this day. In the factory store on Nablus Road, visitors can browse and purchase hand-made crafts.
Balian family members are ready to take guests on a tour of the family museum, but advance reservation is required.
Open daily except Sundays. Tel: (02) 628-2826. Address: 14 Nablus Road, Jerusalem.
A WORKER carves a tile at the Balian Ceramics store on Nablus Road.