When reaching Shawawra village, located east of Bethlehem, make sure that you will pass by the women cooperative in which visitors are always welcome. The women offer special breakfast containing al Duqqa that contains wild thyme which is seasonal. The women at the cooperative say that “the Duqqa is found in each house in the village for this, it is considered a basic to all cooking”.
The women collect the Duqqa in spring from the mountains nearby. The members of the cooperatives enjoy every step of making the Duqqa (mountain Za’tar) starting from grinding the dried thyme and mixing it with special spices, sesame seeds, sumac and ground dried yogurt.
The women cooperate with the local council as well as schools, they are productive and active and they focus on cultural exchange through the work of the cooperative. The cooperative has many activities including participating in festivals to market their production, bringing students scholarships, organizing computer courses and summer camps for youth and different food production such as pickles, jam, sweet, cheese, yogurt, oil as well as embroidery and straw.
For more information and to visit the cooperative you can contact the head women: Shifa Salem