Iain Chalmers’ report for the PHT Project Committee on his visit to Gaza, the Naqab, and the West Bank, 10-18 March 2017
Jan was scheduled to give two talks about the PHT Project in Gaza, and to host a meal for designers and stitchers at the Marna House Hotel. Because Jan had been advised not to travel with the unhealed injury to her arm, I gave those and other talks about the Tapestry, and hosted a light meal for PHT-linked people and other friends.
At the invitation of my colleague Khamis Elessi, the Tapestry was presented to his Islamic University of Gaza (IUG) pathology class. Enthusiastic reception.
Tapestry was presented at a meeting convened by Ibrahim Muhtadi at UNRWA Headquarters, with Wafa al-Za’anin helping out.
The Head of English – Dr Maha Alawdat – at Kseifa School, where Yasmeen Haj Amer teaches, asked me to present the Tapestry to a class of about 20 boys and girls. It provoked a great deal of interest. Maha suggested that they should design and stitch a tapestry illustrating the history of the Bedouin in the Naqab and the children responded enthusiastically to this proposal, including a boy who said that he would like to learn stitching.
We’am Hammoudeh took me to visit the PHT contributors in the Amari Camp in Ramallah – Refa Mustafa; Dawlat Abu Shawish (Um Husam), Badriya Hamad, and Bassima Hamad (Um Samir)
Jan’s talk was presented 6 times, and was well received on every occasion. I had the strong impression that face-to-face meetings are important for those involved in the Tapestry, and they hope to see Jan before long.
Daphne Symon from Cheltenham visited the sewing group early this autumn and sent back an ‘at work’ image. The group have just completed a crusader panel and are starting on a new work. Thank you ladies great work.
Hekmat, one of our star Gaza embroiderers; Wafaa, Assistant Field Co-ordinator, Gaza; and Ibrahim, the Project’s Artistic Designer. You guys are doing a great job. Keep it up please.
..the appointment of one of our history advisors, Mahmoud Hawari, to the position of Director General of the Palestine Museum in Birziet. We wish him well and congratulate the museum on a wonderful and wise appointment.
We are fortunate to have very skilled embroiderers stitching for the Palestine History Tapestry [PHT] Project in Gaza, The Naqab, Ramallah, Jordan, and Lebanon. So far, they have completed 17 panels and 13 spacers, and 4 panels and 5 spacers are currently being stitched. The Project’s field coordinators, historians, and organisers have identified 139 possible images for stitch.
There is much to do.
Eleven panels have been photographed onto canvas and exhibited publically, and they are available for exhibition bookings. If travel expenses can be reimbursed, one of the UK-based founders of the Project will present the background and development of the Palestine History Project, and answer questions about it.Talks help to create awareness of the Project and to raise funds to support the work through donations and sale of embroidery.
Five of the exhibition panels, Calligraphy, Gaza Roof Tops, Henna Party, The Nativity, and Olive Harvest, have been selected for a limited edition purchase. The images have been printed onto canvas, by a method called Giclée printing and are ready for framing or mounting.
Each canvas is roughly two thirds of the original in size, approximately 58cm x 30cm
If you are interested in supporting the project and in owning one of these beautiful prints contact firstname.lastname@example.org
During March 2016, Dowlet of the Al Amari embroidery group in Ramallah, is seen here making preparation to embroider a panel.
Meet Basma and Iman from Ein el Helweh refugee camp near Saida. Basma has stitched a spacer and Iman a panel for the project and have both taken other images to stitch. A third embroiderer, Keffa, has agreed to try a spacer with a view to doing more if she likes the work. Riham our coordinator for Lebanon is working very closely with the women and doing a great job.
Meet Jeanette in Amman, a meticulous and gifted Palestinian embroiderer. I showed her some samples of embroidery I had taken with me from our collection, and without hesitation she new immediately where the work had been done. Either by the stitches or by the fabric used. We are lucky to have her working for the tapestry. Barbara our coordinator for Amman feels that we are now on an embroidery roll in Amman. Janette has taken an image to work herself and a second piece for a friend who she works closely with. Barbara is keen to seek embroiderers from Jerash refugee camp known as ‘Gaza camp’ where Palestinian people live in very poor and difficult conditions. The camp is about 40Km from Amman and is situated on Roman ruins. Barbara is being supported by Leila the curator of Tiraz, a museum in Amman with the largest collection of Palestinian dress and embroidery http://tirazcentre.org/en/widad-kawar and Shaden who runs the Museum shop.