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Religious items from Bethlehem brought to local church

Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 5:09 AM CST
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A small piece of the Holy Land came to our area this weekend, with the pandemic part of the driving force for that.

Siham Alsahouri spent some time at St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Panama City Beach this morning, selling items her family and fellow parishioners from Shepherds Field Parish in Bethlehem, Palestine produces.

The folks there specialize in Christian-based religious items made out of olive wood from olive trees in that region. Alsahouri says it’s a strong business based on selling to tourists and pilgrims who go to the Holy Land. The pandemic has drastically cut into that business. And though she’s traveled to the U.S. for years as a rep selling these items, her job is more important than ever to try and keep that region’s economy going in some way.

”The situation back in the Holy Land, especially in Bethlehem is very tough. For the Christian and the Catholic families to make their living. So we tried to help them by selling religious items from the branches of the olive tree,” said Alsahouri.

Siham sold items after the two-morning masses at St. Bernadette and did a very brisk business. She says her next destination is North Carolina.

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