The Language of Palestinian Tatreez Embroidery
Date(s) - 05/16/2019
12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
The Jerusalem Fund & Palestine Center
Washington, District of Columbia
**A light lunch will be served at 12:30 p.m. Talk begins promptly at 1:00 p.m. on the 16th.
** After our book talk event with Wafa, we will welcome her back for a 3-session class on the art of tatreez at The Jerusalem Fund. Enrollment is $40 per class and registration is required.
Palestinian tatreez embroidery is a centuries-old folk art, traditionally passed from mother to daughter over a cup of tea. Wafa and her sisters grew up learning the time honored folk art and tradition of embroidery from their mother, Feryal Abbasi-Ghnaim. Researching over thirty years worth of oral history interviews, recorded demonstrations, lectures, journal entries and photographs from her and her mother, Wafa Ghnaim documents, decodes and preserves the patterns, meanings and oral history of traditional Palestinian embroidery designs passed on for generations between women in her family in her book, Tatreez & Tea: Embroidery and Storytelling in the Palestinian Diaspora.
For generations, Palestinian women have gathered together with their daughters to work collectively on embroidery projects, bonding with one another over a cup of tea. Over time, and after the exodus of Palestinians from Palestine in 1948, embroidery has become an endangered art that has been subjected to decades of cultural appropriation. But embroidery represents more than just a village craft of old Palestine — it became the primary form of communication for Palestinian women who used needlework as a way to express their opinions, share their stories, and document their protest of occupation, war and violence.
To learn more about the project, please visit