Adel Karaki

I’ve been a blacksmith for 43 years. I left school to learn in the shop of a famous old man. My parents didn’t know. It the past, you would work with your hands and use fire from coal and old car oil. With technology, it’s cleaner, easier, and more comfortable. In my house even my bed is metal, along with the vanity and the tables. I specialize in fire escapes—up to ten stories tall. Usually you need an engineer, but I can do it on my own. My sons and I have worked at the Polytechnic University, many schools in Ramallah, and made windows, stairs, and doors for the UNRWA refugee camp there. If you go directly to Ramallah from Hebron it takes 45 minutes but the soldiers’ road closures and checkpoints add an extra few hours. We have to wake up at 4am to be there at 7 or 8. It takes energy from you.

- Adel Karaki