This is a not for profit project in support of Palestinian women: Women who live an oppressed existence, who are poor, whose land has been taken from them; many whose families have lived for over half a century in refugee camps throughout the Middle East; women who like any wife or mother desperately want to take care of their families but face a daily struggle for survival.
The History Tapestry Project will empower Palestinian women, enabling them to engage in income generating activity whilst telling the story of the villages and towns, the life and heritage of their ancestors and forebears, the indigenous people of Palestine, through beautiful skilled embroidery, and the Palestinian History Tapestry Project.
What is the Palestinian History Tapestry Project ? click here to learn more
Charity Registration Number EW01704
Yara Hawari, one of our UK advisors, is currently living in Jerusalem and working towards her PhD. She has agreed for the time being, to be the link person between the embroiderers in Al Amari Refugee Camp in Ramallah and the UK team. Thank you Yara this is a valuable contribution we are grateful.
Amman and Beirut 15th – 23rd March2015
Visits were made to
- A community project in Amman run by Um Jassar
- Um Ismail, leader of a woman’s embroidery group “Hope” part of Al Amal, a Baqaa camp community organisation.
- Faiha Abdulhadi a writer and Researcher Consultant who is working on Palestinian memory through “ِAl Rowat for Studies and Research.
- Independent meetings/discussions were held with the PHT Patron Ghada Karmi.
- A meeting and visit with Widad Kawar owner of the Tiraz Centre, www.tirazcentre.org home of Arab dress.
All of these visits and discussions gave us positive ideas for the future of embroidery in Jordan.
Widad Kawas home with Barbara Jan and Ghada
When in Beirut, three years ago, we tried to establish an interest in the project with embroidery groups based in refugee camps. We made contact with Mahmoud Zeidan a Palestinian who has been interested in the project since our original visit. Mahmoud made a few phone calls and visits and suggested someone he thought might be suitable for the role of coordinator in Lebanon. We met with Riham Khalil from Saida a mother of three who was very enthusiastic about volunteering to help with the project. We agreed together that she would be able to fulfil the role of coordinator
Jan and Iain having coffee with Mahmoud Zeidan, Riham Khalil and Ali Zeidan
It was a successful visit and future visits are planned.
We are happy to tell you that Mahmoud Zeidan and Riham Khalil both from the village of Safsuf in the Safad district of Palestine, have joined the project. They have volunteered to help find Palestinian embroiderers in Lebanon, where they both live with their respective families.
A spacer stitched by women of the Al Amari refugee camp in Ramallah
Stitched by Amari Women’s group in Ramallah
Shayma Wahaidi who is studying for a masters in public health at Oxford Brookes University is the newest recruit to the project. She is advising the UK team at the moment but……
…on her return home later this year she will be working with Jamila and Ibrahim, the Gaza team
Three olive trees have been planted in the grounds of Oxford Brookes University UK, in memory of Samar our coordinator in Gaza, and her boys who were tragically killed this summer during the attack on Gaza by Israel.
Embroidery on sale is all from Gaza. Please come and give your support.
I was invited to write about the project for an online journal called History Workshop Online. The journal asked me to write about the project and to describe how and why I became involved. You can read what I wrote here.
Yesterday Sunday 28th September we had our first official AGM. It went so well. The highlight was the link up with our field coordinators Ibrahim in Gaza Jamila in Doha and Basma in Amman. There is much to do and we are ready for it.
Thanks to Mahmoud for Chairing
Thanks to every one for giving up a Sunday afternoon
…….and thanks to Jamila and Basma attending by Skype. Special thanks to Ibrahim on Skype from Gaza who attended most of the meeting with his computer and WiFi fired by battery as there was no mains power.