Friday, 25 October 2013
The historical and cultural richness of Palestine is reflected in the vibrancy of Palestinian women’s embroidery.
Since 1950, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees has been promoting women’s embroidery as an income-generating activity in Gaza’s refugee camps. Today UNRWA’s Sulafa Embroidery Centre employs more than 300 women of all ages.
The eldest embroiderers, Khadra and Huryia, arrived at the camps following the events of 1948. Embroidery and sewing work became a means of survival. Now the children and grandchildren of Sulafa’s first embroiderers are carrying on this art. Some are engaged in training programs in the camps run by Sulafa’s trainers who ensure that embroidery skills and knowledge will endure.
To date its best customers are local women who come to Sulafa to order traditional dresses for wedding parties and other special occasions. At the same time, Sulafa is trying to reach across Gaza’s borders to the international market by developing a new range of home textiles and apparel.
Now through The Poverty Alleviation Fund, Cambridge, MA, USA you, your stitching groups, church organizations and other groups can access at wholesale prices beautifully embroidered items, the traditions of which are culturally rich and of internationally historic significance. Your order will be processed in dollars by Kristin Jones in Massachusetts.
There are purses for cosmetics, iPads, Christmas tree ornaments, scarves, pillow covers and much more - some of which you can see on this page.
And to see more you can download the Sulafa Embroidery Catalogue by clicking here.
There is also an accompanying pdf - Voices and Hands published by The Poverty Alleviation Fund, Cambridge, MA, USA which has fabulous images and the personal stories of some of the embroiderers.
This little publication offers you an opportunity to meet Palestinian women, young and old, and to hear stories that are integral to their lives. Shared themes are childhood, homeland, the wedding party, marriage and family life, life in the refugee camps, and embroidery. It is clear that for all of the women, embroidery plays a central role in their lives, providing not only income but an opportunity to meet and share experiences and to perpetuate their Palestinian identity. To download a copy of Voices and Hands, just click here.
Posted by N E E D L E P R I N T at 18:00