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THE RAZZOUKS: TATTOOING FOR 700 YEARS | | LARS KRUTAK
Wassim tattooing fellow tattoo artist Yasmine Bergner of Tel Aviv with a church symbolic of the Trinity FOR MORE THAN 700 YEARS, tattooing has been the profession of countless generations of Razzouk family members. This Coptic Christian family originated in Egypt but in the eighteenth century an ancestor named Jersuis, a Coptic priest, brought the art he had learned from his forefathers to Palestine and later Jerusalem about 1750. In the Coptic and other Eastern Christian communities (Ethiopian, Armenian, Syrian, Maronite, Kildanian, etc.), tattooing has long functioned to mark one's pilgrimage to the Holy Land, among other things. For example, a small cross placed on the inside of the wrist granted religious pilgrims access to churches and other sacred places. Virgin girls often chose Annunciation designs to increase their chances of bearing children, and in this context these designs worked as fertility symbols rather than devotional marks. But the act of tattooing oneself also