Madaba Arts & Handicraft Center: Mosaics
The Arts & Handicraft Center faces the road between Madaba and Mount Nebo, on the left as you travel the 6km or so from Madaba.
Some lovely and intricate mosaics are hand-produced by local people on site (you can see the elaborate, time-consuming process being demonstrated) as well as some which, to me, seemed rather clumsy. All the colours used are from the stone itself, none from artificial dyes.
The large display & shopping area not only has numerous mosaics and mosaic-topped e.g. tables on sale but also other ornaments, trinkets and craftwork produced within Jordan. I was particularly taken by the lovely wooden furniture decorated not only detailed marquetry using many different types of wood but also with mother-of-pearl shell. Whilst I'm not sure the furniture would look quite 'right' outside the Middle East (I saw similar in several hotels I used) it was certainly both beautiful and beautifully-crafted.
The centre offers free shipping for its pieces because, apparently, all its shipping costs are met by the Jordanian Royal family.
I didn't buy anything myself but, if I had the money and the display space, I certainly saw several display mosaics which I might well have purchased. If you are in the market for a mosaic piece you'll certainly find lots on sale in Madaba souvenir shops...but maybe it's worth a drive (or taxi) out to this place to buy something which you can be certain is not factory-made?
What to pay: Price varies according to the piece. Whilst nothing is cheap (nor should it be so, imo) nothing is overly expensive for the skill and time which has gone into its creation or construction.
- Arts and Culture
- Religious Travel
- Luxury Travel
Nebo's Pearl: Popular Souvenir and Mosaic's Shop
Nebo's Pearl is a large Handicraft cum Mosaic cum Souvenir Shop located along the Mount Nebo Road about a 2 minute drive to Mount Nebo Church and 5 minute drive to downtown Madaba. Inside this large complex are areas devoted to mosaics making, a large showroom of olive wood and other wood products like crucifixes, rosaries, saints, jordanian carvings; Dead Sea Products section, souvenir sections (like fridge magnets, shot glasses, mugs, cups, keychains), mosaic products like tables or chairs or wall arts; carpets, vases and a lot more.
opens: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm everyday
according to their website:
nebo s pearl world handicrafts and traditional mont nebo madaba amman jordan work shop mosaic work shop jewerly
Pearl Nebo world handicrafts and traditional industries
Pearl Nebo large bazaar in the Middle East
Pearl Nebo company specializes in all industries and traditional crafts
Concerns of the mosaic
Larger panel panorama in the world
Pearl also specializes in Nebo Dead Sea products
Madaba, Mount Nebo Road Amman Jordan
What to buy: mosaics galore like mosaic tables or chairs, mosaic eggs, dead sea products by dolmen and rivage, tons of souvenir items
What to pay: olive wood crucifixes at JD 80 (US $ 115), fridge magnets at JD 4 (US $ 5.70), shot glasses at JD 5 ( US $ 7), Small mosaic paper weights at JD 100 (US $ 142) and more.
haggling is allowed!
- Arts and Culture
- Road Trip
Several: Shopping in Madaba
Madaba is a very good place to buy authentic Jordanian handicrafts. Madaba is well known or its carpets and rugs, as well as mosaics.
There are many shops around the Church of the Map, so take you time and compare prices before you buy anything.
What to buy: Mosaics
What to pay: Haggle
Madaba handicraft Center: Excellent Handicraft Center in Madaba
The shop includes a workshop for mosaics as well as a retail outlet with a large selection of locally made crafts from Jordan including Jewelry, rugs, hadn-painted ostrich eggs, traditional clothing and ceramic tables and smaller items. The employees are very hospitable and careful to ensure that the customer feels well taken care of without feeling overly pressured.
What to buy: Mosaic tables, hand-painted Ostrich Eggs, jewelry and rugs
What to pay: Wide ranging -
- Historical Travel
- Religious Travel
- Arts and Culture
Carpet City: Weaving tradations
there are several rugs shops in Madaba. besides almost every regular souvenir shop will carry a small selection of locally (Bedouin) or made in Egypt carpets.
the rugs are beautiful. the locally woven ones, made usually by the Bedouin women are woven on a horizontal ground loom and dyed with the home made dyes. These tend to be simple in design, narrow, or made in strips, which are held together horizontally. the locally made carpets are pretty cheap. the smallest one (size of a double door mat) will start from 15 JD and up.
made in Egypt carpets, which are based on traditional Jordanian designs, are much more expensive and start from 50 JD.
merchants very often showcase their carpets on the side of the street, which helps not only to attract the customers, also enhances the natural colors used in rugs.
Sawalha Oriental Folklore: Jordanian Crafts and Hospitality at Best
This place looked similar to many other souvenirs shops scattered around the St. George Church. What made it stand out was the exceptional hospitality and calm-radiant personality of its owner, Yussef Sawalha. And if you didn’t enter, you would never know what you have missed.
I entered there to buy a Shemagh scarf for my dad. And instead of giving me a standard “5JD” answer (which is an average charge for such a scarf for anyone who looks like a tourist), he asked me what kind of quality do I need, and showed me all options he had – from the cheapest for 2JD to the finest quality for 6JD. I chose one in the middle range. I wanted to try the scarf on (which I thought would be fun for the sake of picture), but he instead offered me to try a beautiful embroidered Bedouin women dress saying: “I want this to be one of your fondest memories of Jordan.” He gave me a beautiful black linen dress with red and green embroidery (to match my eyes) and helped me with a three-layer face niqab (a tricky, and time-consuming effort). And for couple minutes I could experience how it feels (dress-wise) to be a very religious Arabic woman: it is hot and you can’t see much. But it was really a very special experience.
Then, in a while, after browsing though other shops looking for a carpet, I came back to look at his carpets. And again, he asked me: what quality of carpets I want: made in Madaba (which looked rough, Bedouin style) or ones made in Egypt (finer wool, softer look). His prices were two-folds less than for the same staff in the Carpet City (a shop around a corner). and when I asked him why, he answered: “when I started my business, I simply decided to be fair.”
When I was leaving the shop, he gave me a little ceramic coaster as a present, which fell off and broke (for good luck :) when my friends were taking a look on the carpet I have bought. Well, he crossed the street and gave me another one. This indeed turned to be one of the fondest memories from my trip to Jordan, which I will remember and treasure about this particular day in Madaba. I have just one regret: I wish I have bought that dress ;)
What to buy: embroidered dresses; scarfs; carpets; cushion covers; ceramics
What to pay: the price will depend on what you buy; but be assured - you will get the fairest price
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