Burkina Faso to Bukhara, Kenya to Katmandu, Guatemala to Goa, Teheran to Timbuktu, we have been there, selecting and collecting. We overflow with colorful arts and crafts, carpets, embroideries, textiles and ethnic clothing. Doreen’s original and imaginative beading and silver handcrafted jewelry is one of a kind –bracelets, rings, necklaces, earrings.
Our collection includes many authentic tribal pieces, expertly gathered from exotic corners of the world – puppets, pottery and pictures, singing bowls and silk scarves. Yemenite spiced coffee is constantly brewing in the shop. Come and discover for yourselves.
DERVISH was born with the toss of a coin, more than 50 years ago in the mystic Old City of Safed, up in the hills of the Galilee. My sister Miriam and I explored the Arab and Druze villages on Miriam's red vespa. We discovered a great tradition of earthenware pots, huge jars for storing olive oil, ceramic and copper pots and dishes from South Lebanon, stones for grinding wheat and many other artifacts, which were all part of the daily life of Ottoman Middle East.
We grew up in South Africa, amidst our father’s collections of African masks and miniature gold weights from what was then called the Gold Coast, today’s Ghana.
In 1969 we left Safed for Tel Aviv, opening Dervish first at Bugrashov street, and later at our current location, at Dov Hoz 21. We expanded our explorations to Peru, Bolivia, India, Nepal, Indonesia, Cambodia and of course many African countries. There was always great excitement when we would return from a trip. We would have huge parties, and were famous for our vast amounts of exotic food.
Miriam went to Yemen twice...always the intrepid traveller. I had to remove all signs of Israel from her shoes, clothes, before she left. An Israeli phone token she found among her things, caused her great panic. The Jews had been the greatest gold and silver smiths in Yemen. They mostly emigrated to Israel and the tradition died out.
I went to India and sat cross-legged on the floor, learning from a silversmith, my friend Kailash. I had to overcome my reservations about using cow dung on which to solder, but back home I had been using dangerous asbestos, which was infinitely less savoury.
Miriam and I would get onto a bus to Cairo and after days in the overcrowded, bustling and fascinating market of Khan-el-Khalili, parts of which date back to mediaeval times, we would go to Siwa, an oasis in the Western Desert. There were beautiful baskets, decorated with splashes of silk and amazing dresses and shawls with orange, yellow and green embroidery with handmade mother of pearl buttons. The women wore several dresses, one on top of the other. I believe that there is nothing left - except for the legend that Alexander the Great is buried in Siwa.
Today, sadly, Miriam is no longer with us, neither is my husband Simcha whom I schlepped to the Ends of the Earth and who both suffered from and enjoyed my endless hours of buying.
TRAVEL is an integral part of my business. It's in my blood. I am soon off to Burkina Faso for a few weeks to look for more treasures and to see my friend Malick, M. Tranquille who calls me the Queen of Sheba and Djene whom I call my big little sister.
My silver jewelry is all hand crafted and so is Udi's. We both have created a colourful and rich collection of beaded and silver necklaces, rings, bracelets and earrings.
Please come and browse among our treasures and if you like, listen to lots of stories
Doreen Mirvish Bahiri