Awarded Cultural and Heritage Award
The Palestinian Heritage Foundation was awarded the Cultural and Heritage
Award for 1998 by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) at
the Award Banquet during the 15th Annual National Convention held on June
13, 1998 in Crystal City, Virginia.
In her letter to the Foundation, ADC President Dr. Hala Maksoud wrote:
I am writing to invite you to accept the Cultural and Heritage Award for
your tireless and outstanding efforts in promoting Arab cultural heritage.
We will be honored to welcome you and recognize your continuous efforts.
Looking forward to welcoming you amongst us at the upcoming Fifteenth
National Convention, (Shaping the Future.)”
Presenting the award to Hanan was ADC National Board Member Dr. Safa
Rifka. After introducing Hanan, Dr. Rifka described the nature and
magnitude of PHF activities by enumerating the various educational
programs and exhibitions undertaken by the Foundation to promote a
positive image and a better understanding of the Arabs through art and
cultural programs. Dr. Rifka also praised the work accomplished by Hanan
and Farah on behalf of all Arabs in the United States and around the
Before an audience of over seven hundred participants, Foundation
President, Hanan Munayyer thanked ADC for their thoughtfulness and
recognition of PHF’s work over the past eleven years.
In her remarks, Hanan emphasized the need for Arab-American
organizations to coordinate their efforts and pool their resources in
order to achieve more success. She offered as an example the cooperation
between PHF and ADC in planning and presenting a beautiful cultural
display of Arab art and crafts at the Washington National Cathedral during
March and April of this year.
Hanan thanked those friends who stood by the Foundation morally and
financially, including ARAMCO WORLD magazine which has helped publicize
the Foundation’s activities throughout the world.
Finally, Hanan shared PHF’s dream of establishing an ARAB HERITAGE
CENTER comprised of a CENTER OF ARAB CULTURE and a MUSEUM OF ARAB HERITAGE.
Foundation To Honor Edward Said At Land Day Banquet
The Palestinian Heritage Foundation will celebrate its
12th Anniversary on Saturday April 3, 1999. This event will coincide with
Palestine Land Day, which is celebrated on March 30, of each year, in
memory of seven Palestinians from Sakhnin, Upper Galilee, who gave their
life in defense of their land.
On this special day, the Palestinian Heritage Foundation and and the
Arab-American community will honor Professor Edward Said.
In an article in the New York Times, writer Janny Scott described
professor Edward Said as follows: “[a] man of many dimensions. He is one
of the most important literary critic alive, a professor of English and
comparative literature at Columbia, the author of 15 books, a music
critic, a scholar of opera, a pianist… and arguably the most eloquent
spokesman for the Palestinian cause in the West…. Prof. Said has done as
much as anyone to raise the profile of the Palestinian cause in American
He is a relentless critic of Israeli policy on the Palestinians [and]
of United States foreign policy in the Middle East… Mr. Said is a
brilliant, charismatic, passionate… [and] a personal model, managing to
combine a rigorous intellectual life and impassioned political engagement”
The Land Day Gala, will be a special event which will celebrate Arab
culture, Art, history, and music. The evening will take place at the
Marriott at Glenpointe Hotel in Teaneck, New Jersey.
Please join us and Professor Said’s friends in honoring and thanking
a distinguished man who made us proud to be Palestinians.
Foundation Acquires Additional Syrian Textiles
Ms. May Richards of Middleburg, Virginia, spent many years
in the Middle East before she retired from the Foreign Service few years
ago. During her tour in the region she collected hundreds of textiles and
items of embroidery from Palestine, Syria, Turkey, Lebanon and other
countries. Her love for this art is well-expressed throughout her home
which Farah visited in April 1998. Embroidered pillows adorne the whole
house, Middle Eastern curtains cover the windows and doors, and
mother-of-pearl items occupy nearly every corner of her home.
Ms. Richards has dedicated at least two rooms of her house to store all
her embroidery and handicrafts. This unique section of the house is also
where she converts some of the fabric and embroidered items into beautiful
pillows that decorate her home.
Rare collection of authentic Bethlehem "Shatwehs"
The Foundation acquired from Ms. Richards six embroidered dresses, two
open coats, one embroidered pantaloon with a complementing vest, all from
Syria, and a Bedouin Burqo’ (face-cover) from Palestine.
Recently, Ms. Richards displayed many embroidered items at the ADC
National Convention in Washington as part of a Middle Eastern “souk”
(market), where she sold items to the public.
Ms. Richards’ activities and her beautifully decorated home were
featured in The Washington Times Magazine late last March.
$7000 Embroidery Sales For Palestinian Camps In Lebanon
For the past eleven years, the Palestinian Heritage Foundation has been
promoting and selling items of embroidery produced by Palestinian women
living in refugee camps in Lebanon in order to help Palestinians in the
camps make ends meet.
PHF is proud to announce that its sales during the past twelve months
has totaled $7000. This amount reflects the Foundation’s hard work on
behalf of our people in the camps, so that they can enjoy improved medical
services, adequate clothing, and better schooling and nutrition.
If each Palestinian family in the United States bought one embroidered
pillow a year, the donation would substantially improve the lives of our
brothers and sisters in the camps.
The Foundation would like to encourage all of its supporters to
purchase embroidered items and give them as gifts as often as possible.
Mrs. FitzHugh Donates Palestinian Costume To PHF
Mrs. Elizabeth West FitzHugh of Mitchellville, Maryland. donated a
Palestinian costume, headpiece, belt, and scarf from Ramallah to the
Foundation. Mrs. FitzHugh learned about PHF from the March/April issue of
ARAMCO WORLD and later from the Palestinian Heritage Arts and Crafts
Exhibition at the Washington National Cathedral.
In her letter to the Foundation Mrs. FitzHugh wrote: The costume I sent
you was purchased for me in Ramallah in May or June of 1941 when I was
fifteen. My impression has always been that it was new at that time.
My father was a professor of chemistry at the American University of
Beirut and I was born and grew up in Lebanon. My family was evacuated from
Beirut in May 1941 and spent a month in Ramallah. I lived and worked in
the Middle East off and on after I graduated from Vassar with major in
chemistry in 1947.
Although I have not visited the Middle East since 1958 I have obvious
reasons for a deep interest in the area. I am pleased to have my costume
go to a worthy cause like the Palestinian Heritage Foundation where it
will be preserved and help to provide documentation of the history of the
The Foundation thanks Mrs. Elizabeth FitzHugh for her generosity and
commitment to this art.
Extensive Coverage of PHF in AL AHRAM International
In a one page article published on Tuesday, June 2, 1998
AL AHRAM International of Egypt singled out the Palestinian Heritage
Foundation for its cultural activities as the most effective Arab-American
organization in the United States promoting Arab culture, art and
The Cairo based Arabic publication with worldwide distribution,
approached PHF upon learning of the unique and historical exhibition at
the Washington National Cathedral during March and April 1998.
The paper interviewed Hanan, focusing mainly on her research during the
past eleven years relative to the origin and history of Middle East art
and crafts, throughout the Canaanite, Greco-Roman, Byzantine, Arab,
Crusader, and Ottoman eras and its impact on Europe and Western
Civilization. The paper also praised the Foundation’s cultural
activities across the United States and Canada and its impact on American
On June 9, 1998 AL AHRAM reported on the upcoming ADC National
Convention and the expected recognition of the Palestinian Heritage
Foundation as the recipient of the 1998 Cultural and Heritage Award given
by ADC, the largest grassroots American-Arab Organization in the United
States. PHF will provide copies of the article upon request.
Special Thank You from The International Friendship
This is to thank you for your participation in the International
Friendship Festival held in Long Beach on April 18th and 19th, 1998. Your
support and enthusiasm with regards to this project is very much
appreciated. You and the Palestinian Heritage Foundation hold a very
special place in our hearts. The Munayyer Collection of Syrian and
Palestinian dresses was exquisite.
As you know, the International Friendship Festival seeks to educate our
children about the wealth of cultural diversity in existence and to
provide positive role models to youngsters of all races. Countless
principals and teachers told us that there were children present at the
Long Beach event who had never experienced cultures outside their own and
who were amazed at the number of countries and traditions represented at
the event. We are thankful to have had big-hearted supports such as
yourself in our midst.
I look forward to working with you in further events and the
International Friendship Festivals as they travel the United States and
the World. We are currently negotiating with the Olympic Planning
Committee to incorporate The International Friendship Festival into the
2002 host city’s preparatory and celebratory event schedules as the “Spirit
of the Olympiad” and are also working on bringing the event to Hawai.
Once again, thank you for the wonderful job you did and for joining us
in promoting cultural harmony to our communities and, especially, our
Costume show by the Palestinian Heritage Foundation at the Friendship Festival,
Los Angeles, California.
PHF Participate In Brooklyn
Children Museum Program
By Edith Doron The Brooklyn Children’s Museum, the first museum
designed expressly for children, has recently featured a very special
program on the adaptations of plant life and the nomadic cultures of one
of the most demanding environment on earth: the desert.
The exhibition entitled Chilling in the Desert, used a variety of
hands-on activities to challenge children to think about what it takes to
survive in the climate of the Saharan and Naqab deserts. Children enjoyed
learning about the ways of Bedouin and Tuareg peoples as well as
discovering what makes desert plants so
amazing. Visitors explored many
artifacts from B.C.M’s rich collection including a Tuareg camel saddle
and goatskin shoes. What made this program truly complete, however, was
the authentic Palestinian double dress on loan from the Munayyer
Collection of the Palestinian Heritage Foundation. Children were in awe at
the sheer size and beauty of the dress and hastily proceeded to mimic its
style with the open fabric that was available to them. In the inspiring
presence of the authentic double dress, children and their parents shared
in the fun of dressing up in layered cloth of various textures and colors.
Once fully robed, they gathered in the shade of the Bedouin-style tent
right on the gallery floor and explored a goatskin water bag while sipping
As the Museum’s centennial approaches, we toast the Munayyer family
for helping us continue to fulfill our mission: helping children develop
an understanding of and respect for themselves, their neighbors, and the
larger world around them.
Edith Doron is the Cultural Program Developer at the B.C.M .
Dress from Al Obaidiya village at Brooklyn Children Museum.
PHF Participate In Paterson High School Graduation
On July 31, 1998 the proud parents of 168 Arab-American children from
different academic levels participated in a graduation ceremony held at
the Charles Riley public school in Paterson, New Jersey. The students were
enrolled in The Cultural Enrichment and Arabic Language Summer Program,
sponsored by the local Arab-American Civic Organization in Passaic County.
The curriculum included Arabic language, Arab history and civilization,
The success of the summer program, the first of its kind in the area,
encouraged the administration to initiate a Fall session to benefit those
who missed the previous session.
The highlight of the graduation festivities was a Dabkeh dance
performed by the students, dressed in traditional Palestinian costumes,
Hattas and Kuftans on loan from the Farah and Hanan Munayyer Collection
and the Palestinian Heritage Foundation. Present at this special occasion
were the Superintendent of Paterson’s Schools, principals and
educational and political leaders of the city.
The Palestinian Heritage Foundation congratulates the organizers of
this unique educational program which enriches our children’s lives with
Arab history, culture and civilization dating back to 1500 B.C..
The Foundation feels privileged to have helped make this event
memorable. Ensuring the success of programs such as this will continue to
be PHF’s mission.
Palestine: Fifty Years of Dispossession Celebrated At
This past September the community of Bloomington, Indiana and
the faculties of English, History, and Political Science and the American
and cultural Studies Programs at Indiana University commemorated fifty
years of Palestinian dispossession. The week long program featured photo
exhibits, films, poetry, and traditional costumes.
The photo exhibit reflected the Palestinian experience during 50 years
of occupation and included 50 photos and 25 panels and charts depicting
the Palestinian experience during that period. The film and video
presentations included the U.S. premiere on Palestine made by Edward Said,
professor of comparative English literature at Columbia University, and
Tom Hayes’ two films “Native Sons: Palestinians in exile” and “
People and the Land.”
Palestinian crafts and embroidered items at Indiana University
Elsa Harik of Bloomington, Indiana presented a lecture on Palestinian
Cultural Identity, utilizing embroidered artifacts and needlework. Her
talk demonstrated an outstanding aspect of a long established, complex,
and vibrant culture that is unique to the Palestinians: Colorful costumes
The same week, a five-day festival featuring all sorts of first-rate
folk and ethnic musical artists, Arab arts and crafts, and an
International Bazaar representing the local Arab-American Society, was
open to the public. Fourth and fifth graders in the school system were
brought in by the convention center to watch performances and take part in
various activities. The Palestinian Heritage Foundation is proud to have
contributed to the success of this cultural event. Ms. Harik contacted PHF
for assistance and the Foundation sent out a package of crafts and
embroidered items to add to the display. Visitors particularly admired the
poster of ten Palestinian women dressed in costumes representing the
different regions of Palestine.
Foundation Adds “Beit Anya” Dress
and Al Khalil “Eraqiyeh” Headpiece To Collection
The Foundation has recently added two additional antique Palestinian
garments to its collection: a “Ghabani” dress from the village of Beit
Ania, or “Al Azariyeh”, outside Jerusalem. This 1920-1930 dress, was
purchased from Mrs. Joan Smith of Cranbury, New Jersey.
Ms. Smith, a former Peace Corp officer and a subscriber of ARAMCO
WORLD, contacted the Foundation after reading the articles in the
March/April issue. Ms. Smith was stationed in Turkey in the early 1960s as
part of the Peace Corp. In 1966, she visited Jerusalem and purchased the
dress at the “souk”.
The other item is an Al Khalil “Erakiyeh” headpiece. It was
acquired from Mr. Dale Van Atta of Virginia, a staff writer for Reader’s
Digest who happened to learn about PHF from the exhibition at the
Washington National Cathedral last March. Mr. Van Atta bought the
headpiece when he spent sometime in Amman, Jordan in 1988.
Bethlehem 2000 At The United Nations A display of Palestinian arts and
crafts was exhibited at the United Nations in commemoration of the
International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people. This ocassion
was held at the United Nations lobby and included a variety of olive-wood
and mother-of-pearl crafts from Bethlehem.
The exhibit’s opening ceremony on Monday, November 30, 1998, was
attended by UN personnel, Mr. Farouk Kaddoumi, Head of the Political
Department of the PLO, and Palestinians from the Metropolitan Area.