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End Israel's Occupation: 40 years too many

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Embroidering to Live

A Palestinian community demonstration

Hebron Embroidery ProjectThe project helps women who are
the sole supporters of their children and other family members.

The Palestinian Community will have some women demonstrating the art of Palestinian embroidery during the “Occupation” Exhibition and there is a reason for introducing such colour and beauty into an otherwise oppressive atmosphere.  This is a skill that has developed over centuries in Palestine when women would embroider their own dresses with patterns special to their own regions.  Women in both the cities and villages would pride themselves on the fineness of their stitches and the number of pieces they would be able to display amongst their home furnishings.  Sadly today, this skill is no longer a past-time, but a dire necessity for many women who have been left to support their families when their husbands are killed or taken away to Israeli prisons.  So desperate are these women that workshops have been set up to train them and then assist them with work projects as a source of income.   Many Palestinian families depend on the women and it is exceedingly remarkable that they have the stamina to run their homes, sew such delicate pieces and yet deal with the daily frustrating closures and restrictions that dog their lives.

Palestinian women  doing embroidery and crocheting lace in Jerusalem just after World War I when jobs were scarce, but their circumstances were still very comfortable in comparison to the deplorable conditions that were to face them after Israel dispossessed some 750,000 Palestinians of their homes and homeland in 1948, forcing them to become refugees and preventing them from returning home in the 59 years since.

See article by Tania Tamari Nasir
"My Silk Road: A Memoir"

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