Annually, hundreds of Jerusalem pilgrims ink their bodies to commemorate their journey to the Holy land. When you think of Jerusalem, you wouldn’t normally associate the holy city with tattoos. Think again.
It’s a common thing among pilgrims, getting a tattoo to remember their time in Jerusalem. In the ancient tattoo business in Jerusalem, the Razzouk family is the leading brand.
The family has been in this business for 700 years which is now run by 43-year-old Wassim Razzouk. The tattoo business for the Razzouk’s did not start in Jerusalem but in Egypt. The family later moved to Jerusalem in the 17th century after 300 years in Egypt.
The family business of tattooing has moved with the times. “The way they did it hundreds of years ago was done by a stick like this one with thick needles attached to it. This created a thicker, blurrier line that wasn’t too sharp. It was both painful and painfully slow” Anton Razzouk, Wassim’s father told CNN.
Now, the tattoo process is modernised but the designs remain the same. A lot of tourists want cross based designs to reflect their faith.
While older Christians prefer the old tattoo designs, the young ones normally opt for modern tattoos with complex ink-work.
The family business will continue for a few more decades as Wassim’s son Nizar who is 13 years old is already learning the business.