Armenian ce­ram­ics

The Jerusalem Post - The Jerusalem Post Magazine - - TOUR ISRAEL -

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.

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