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My gift from Traces Palestine
By: Alysia Alexandra
Two years ago, I was gifted my treasured necklace of the Jerusalem Gate for my birthday. The four stones in the centre are from Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Jenin, which each have a deeply personal and special significance to me, and with my necklace, I can wear them close to my heart where they belong. Every day, I carry Palestine with me.
My necklace is so much more than a beautiful piece of jewellery. Learning about what TRACES is about and their background completely blew me away. The work, thought, and love that they put into every piece shows the strength of each person’s connection to Palestine, celebrating and treasuring the earth. 
A few months after I received my necklace, I had the privilege of going to Palestine and meeting some of the team of TRACES. To hear how much these pieces mean to so many people was truly awe-inspiring. There are so many Palestinians who are robbed of the chance to return to Palestine, and this can bring small pieces to them in a way to “liberate” these stones from the occupation. Some even come from depopulated villages that were ethnically cleansed in 1948, where the TRACES team uses old maps and new technology to find them and collect stones for Palestinians all over the world. 
They also connect with people who aren’t Palestinian like me, in a way where we can show support and solidarity in a special way- and it serves as a reminder to keep speaking out and fighting until Palestine is free and every Palestinian can safely and freely travel to their homes and cities from the river to the sea. 
TRACES is such a beautiful and unique project and I’m proud to wear my necklace, share their stories, and speak about the meaning of the piece, with its timeless design and precious stones.
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