With thanks: Jenny K
The massive contribution of Jewish craftsmen to art and handicrafts in the Arab world must not be forgotten. Maurice Nseiri is a Syrian Jewish craftsman born in Damascus, 1945. He studied metalwork with his father, and owned a popular shop called “Omayad Bazar”.The Omayad Bazar is now permanently closed but Maurice‘s designs can still be found all around Damascus : in synagogues, at the Sheraton hotel, at the Sham Palace and many other places. Admired by arts enthusiasts his most famous creation is the front brass gates of the Syrian Presidential Palace. Here is an extract from a Hadassah magazine profile published in 2016.
An example of Nseiri's work on display at the Brooklyn Jewish Children's Museum in 2015
When artist Maurice Nseiri fled his native Syria in 1992, part of the mass exodus of most of the country’s remaining Jewish community, he took with him whatever he could of his handcrafted metalwork. That meant that only several dozen of his smaller
The Damascus-born metal artist, 72, may be the last Jewish practitioner of a centuries-old artistic heritage. Handed down father to
For over 30 years, Nseiri’s wo