We are a Palestinian run family business based outside of Washington DC. We create opportunities for Palestinian artisans & farmers to earn income by bringing their products and stories to US and international markets
Palestine is known for some of the finest foods in the Middle East. Unfortunately, it is also known for being under one of the modern world's longest occupation. With all of the restrictions Israel has placed on Palestinian artisans & farmers, it has made it hard for them to make a living and share their craft with the world.
Having some of the most delicious olive oil's in the world, some of it from trees more than a millennium old. Its wild gathered herbs have a mild but savory flavor that is unmatched elsewhere. It is home to some of the oldest soap factories in the world still producing olive oil soaps.
Who is involved?
Kiersten Rossetto Nassar was born and raised in Mechanicsburg, PA. She studied peacebuilding and development at Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia, which is where she met Bshara. Her background is in refugee resettlement and integration and it remains a strong focus — working with communities and cultivating communities that welcome everyone and allow them to feel safe.
Jwana Nassar is the social media manager at Keffiyeh Masks. She lives in Bethlehem, Palestine where she was born and raised. She studied English Language and Literature at Bethlehem University. She is an English teacher in a school in Palestine, and she’s very passionate about writing.
Rachel Shomali is a Palestinian American from Beit Sahoor. She recieved her BA in marketing from Birzeit University. Previously, she has worked as an intern at fair housing non-profit and as a marketing associate at a national mortage company. Outside of work, Rachel enjoys travelling and playing basketball.
Artisans and local businesses in Palestine who provide products, design, artwork, printing, shipping, etc
Bshara Nassar (advisor) grew up outside of Bethlehem in Palestine, on his family’s educational farm, called Tent of Nations. He came to the U.S. in 2011 to pursue his master’s degree. He’s always been passionate about sharing Palestinian culture and telling their story as a people. In 2014 he founded the Museum of the Palestinian People which is based in Washington D.C.
Palbox was originally founded artist Katie Miranda in 2016 after her volunteer work with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM).
She shares her story, "The ISM olive oil customers asked me how could they get the olive oil outside of the 2-3 times a year they saw us (ISM) at fairs and events in the Bay Area. Subscription boxes were a new thing back then and I thought it would be great if we could get Palestinian products delivered to our customer's doors year round and also reach a broader audience around the country. I started Palbox with $500 paid to an animator to animate my drawings and some photos and make an explainer video for the front of the website. We used ISM's inventory and added my jewelry to the box because many of ISM's customers were mine as well".