Catholic Israeli Walied Khoury, one of the last blacksmiths in Israel, on his ancient tools and techniques

In Europe, blacksmiths pass their craft from father to son, according to Walied Khoury, a blacksmith in the village of Fassuta in the Western Galilee.

But there are only about eight blacksmiths in all of Israel. Khoury is one of them and he learned the trade almost by chance.

Khoury is a friendly man dressed in a T-shirt that says BLACKSMITH on it, with a tattoo of an anvil on his forearm, a shaved head and fashionable goatee. He looks more like a motorcyclist than a blacksmith.

…I loved visiting about Khoury in his unique village and writing about him. I’m always excited by the diversity of people in Israel, and their creativity. The Start-Up Nation has many varieties, not just hi-tech. To read more about Khoury, please click here.

This is Khoury on his terrace; in the distance are the hills of Southern Lebanon, just across the border. PHOTO CREDIT: Diana Bletter

About dianabletter

Diana Bletter is the author of several books, including The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women (with photographs by Lori Grinker), shortlisted for a National Jewish Book Award. Her novel, A Remarkable Kindness, (HarperCollins) was published in 2015. She is the First Prize Winner of Moment Magazine's 2019 Fiction Contest. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, tabletmag, Glamour, The Forward, The North American Review, Times of Israel, and is a reporter for Israel21C, and many other publications. She is author of Big Up Yourself: It's About Time You Like Being You and The Mom Who Took off On Her Motorcycle, a memoir of her 10,000-mile motorcycle trip to Alaska and back to New York. She lives in a small beach village in Western Galilee, Israel, with her husband and family. She is a member of the local hevra kadisha, the burial circle, and a Muslim-Jewish-Christian-Druze women's group in the nearby town of Akko. And, she likes snowboarding and climbing trees.
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