Palestinian Embroidery 101: International Women's Day Edition


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Friday, 8 March, 2019 -
12:00 to 15:00
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About the speakers: 

Wafa Ghnaim is an American born Palestinian businesswoman, writer and artist. Her father is from Yaffa and her mother from Safad, Palestine. Wafa began learning Palestinian embroidery from her mother when she was only two years old.

Throughout her life, Wafa has traveled alongside her mother, a master artist and life long teacher of Palestinian embroidery, for various exhibitions, lectures and demonstrations around the U.S. -- from folklore festivals in Cambridge, more

About the event: 

For centuries, Palestinian women have been embroidering motifs onto their garments that represent stories of self, family and admired figures in history. For International Women's Day, join Wafa Ghnaim, author of Tatreez & Tea: Embroidery and Storytelling in the Palestinian Diaspora, in embroidering "The Story of Cleopatra" design, a featured design in her book, to preserve the endangered art of Palestinian tatreez embroidery.

"The Story of Cleopatra"is an assembly of motifs found on Palestinian women's thobes, with various symbols representing her life, rule and death. Cleopatra, who ruled Ancient Egypt as well as served as a naval commander, linguist and diplomat -- is known as one of the most powerful women in history. It is no surprise that Palestinian women dedicated an entire set of embroidery motifs to tell Cleopatra's story and commemorate her life through the art of tatreez embroidery.

In this 3-hour intensive, you will have the opportunity to embroider four different segments of the Cleopatra panel design; the high heel, crown, lotus flower and her ring. Wafa will lead you through a meditative practice that will teach you the stories behind each element of the pattern, how to strategize design transfers, two types of cross-stitch methods used in Palestinian embroidery, and assembling a panel design through segmentation.

By the end of the class, you will leave with an embroidered design mounted in an embroidery hoop to frame and hang on your wall, or give as a gift. You may also use the piece as a patch on clothing or accessories.

All materials are provided. No prior needlework experience required.

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