Arab American National Museum to Host the Munayyer Collection
The Arab-American National Museum, established three years ago in
Dearborn, Michigan, will host the Munayyer Collection of Palestinian embroidered
costumes beginning this July. This is the latest of PHF activities that works to
educate both fellow Arab-Americans as well as the American public of the beauty
of Palestinian embroidery, motifs and symbols stitched on these stunning
garments. This collection is a true representation of now-vanished Palestinian
villages and the women that wrote Palestinian history with needle and thread.
Threads of Pride: Palestinian
Traditional Costumes will open on July 12th, and will
remain open through November 25th, 2007. The exhibit will include
selections from the pristine collections of Hanan and Farah Munayyer and the
Palestinian Heritage Foundation.
Dresses on display will represent Bethlehem, villages around Jerusalem,
Hebron region, Ramallah region, Jaffa region, Gaza, Galilee, and the Southern
and Coastal regions. In addition to the dresses, other items such as veils,
headpieces, jackets and jewelry will be on display.
This historic exhibition is the first of its kind in a Michigan museum and
comes almost one year after the successful three month exhibit at the Craft and
Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles, CA.
Opening July 12:
Threads of Pride: Palestinian
of Pride features over 40 Palestinian
embroidered dresses and ceremonial costumes
from the collection of Farah and Hanan
Munayyer, founders of the Palestinian
Heritage Foundation of West Caldwell, New
Jersey and stewards of the largest
collection of Palestinian embroidery in the
United States. This exhibition, in the
Museum’s Main Floor Gallery, runs through
November 25, 2007.
Palestinian Heritage Foundation Celebrates
On Sunday, April 15th, 2007 the Palestinian Heritage Foundation
held its Twentieth Anniversary Banquet. The most heartwarming feature of the
banquet was the presence of many friends and supporters. In spite of the heavy
rain, storm and flooding that affected the Eastern Coast, over 400 people
attended, several traveling considerable distance to be there.
Some people may wonder, in
these times when our brothers and sisters in Palestine are perpetually
suffering, why we have a banquet to celebrate our antiquities, our music,
textiles and traditions. We believe that it is precisely in these desperate
times that it is most important to spread our culture, to practice our
traditions, to play our music…because when we have lost our cultural heritage,
we have truly lost what means the most.
On this special day, the Palestinian Heritage Foundation and the
Arab-American community honored Dr. Simon Shaheen. Among those joining in the
celebrations included guests His Eminence Metropolitan Philip Saliba, Primate of
the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese in North America, Keynote Speaker Dr. Hanan
Mikhail Ashrawi and her spouse Emile Ashrawi, Archbishop Theodosios Atallah
Hanna of the Jerusalem Patriarchate, Ambassador Ryad Mansour, PLO Observer to
the United Nations, Dr. Ziad Asali, President of the American Task Force on
Palestine and many others.
The evening included a beautiful display of traditional dresses from
Palestine in addition to artwork by Jihan Tannous, Renata Ghannam, Irina Karkabi
and watercolors by Anna Rychter May. The evening was concluded with a special
performance by Simon Shaheen and Qantara.
Click images to enlarge
Keynote Speaker Hanan Ashrawi Address the Banquet
Dr. Hanan Mikhail Ashrawi, member of the Palestine Legislative Assembly
and President of the human rights organization Miftah, was keynote speaker at
the Twentieth Anniversary Banquet of the Foundation.
Calling the banquet a “rare moment of celebration”, Dr. Ashrawi described the
Munayyers’ efforts as an affirmation which captured the essence of Palestinian
identity and represented a continuum of legitimacy and authenticity. Not only
was it a form of constructive resistance, she added, but an act of loyalty and a
pledge of commitment to the future.
The Munayyers' initiative is heartening, Ashrawi explained, precisely because
Palestinians have been wounded in their identity, having suffered exclusion,
denial, dispossession, exile and oppressive military occupation.
Dr. Ashrawi was received with a standing ovation and applauded by more
than 400 people who attended the evening (see
article by Jane Adas in the WRMEA below).
Archbishop Hanna Presents Special Awards to Metropolitan PHILIP
and the Munayyers
Atallah Hanna of the Jerusalem Orthodox Patriarchate was received at the banquet
with a standing ovation by over 400 people in attendance. His Eminence
Metropolitan PHILIP Saliba introduced Archbishop Hanna. The Archbishop’s word
was warmly received by the audience and sparked enthusiastic applause throughout
Archbisop HANNA presented Metropolitan PHILIP and the Munayyers with awards
highlighting their achievements. Sayyidna PHILIP's award was in appreciation for
the role he has been playing on behalf of the American Arab community, the
Orthodox faithful in the United States, and above all, for his unlimited support
to the Palestinian people during the first and second Intifadas. The Munayyer's
award was for their efforts during the past twenty years to preserve and promote
Palestinian and Arab heritage to the American and Arab public.
Click images to enlarge
Simon Shaheen Honored by PHF
Simon Shaheen, a true virtuoso in his field and one of the most
significant Arab musicians, performers, and composers of his generation, was
honored by the Palestinian Heritage Foundation at its Twentieth Anniversary
Banquet for his tireless efforts to promote understanding and appreciation of
Arab music. The evening was electrified when Qantara played Simon's two most recent
compositions, "Iraq" and "The Wall".
Shaheen graduated from the Academy of Music in
Jerusalem and completed his graduate studies in New York City’s Manhattan School
of Music and Columbia University.
In the early 1980’s, Shaheen established the Near
Eastern Music Ensemble. He has performed in the world’s greatest venues,
including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Cairo’s Opera House, Theatre de la
Ville in Beirut, and Belgium’s Le Palais des Arts. In 2000, Shaheen appeared at
the Grammy Awards with American pop musician Sting, arranging the violin section
for Stings’ live rendition of “Desert Rose.”
Since 1994, Shaheen has
produced the Annual Arab Festival of Arts, Mahrajan Al-Fan, at the
Brooklyn Museum in New York. Three years later, Shaheen
founded the Annual
Arabic Music Retreat held each summer at Mount Holyoke College, a weeklong
intensive program of Arabic music studies that attracts participants across the
U.S. and the world. Even now, he still devotes almost fifty percent of his
professional time working with schools and universities, including Juilliard,
Princeton, Brown, Harvard, Yale, and others.
For the past six years,
Shaheen has focused much of his energy on his band Qantara, which offers its
listeners a fusion of Arabic, jazz, Western Classical and Latin music.
The Washington Report on
Middle East Affairs
Hanan Ashrawi Keynote Speaker at Palestinian Heritage
By Jane Adas
Twenty years ago Hanan and Farah Munayyer purchased a collection of
antique Palestinian embroidered dresses. Thus was born the Palestinian
Heritage Foundation (PHF). While pursuing demanding careers as scientists
and raising their daughters, the couple researched the 4,000-year history of
arts and crafts in the Middle East, the Arab textile industry, and the
"language" of individual embroidery patterns. They took a second mortgage on
their home to add to their collection, which now exceeds 1,500 items, and to
produce a video: "Palestinian Costumes and Embroidery: A Precious Legacy."
They have since presented live costume shows; mounted exhibitions in such
venues as the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles (2006), Museum of the
City of New York, and the United Nations; given lectures across the country; and created a Web site, <www.palestineheritage.org>.
The Munayyers' dream is to establish a museum to house their collection in
order to increase awareness of Arab culture and traditions.
keynote speaker at PHFs 20th anniversary banquet was Dr. Hanan Ashrawi,
member of the Palestine Legislative Assembly and president of the human
rights organization Miftah. At the banquet, held in Teaneck, New Jersey on
April 15, PHF also presented a special award to Dr. Simon Shaheen for his
tireless efforts to promote understanding and appreciation of Arab music.
Calling the banquet a rare moment of celebration, Ashrawi described the
Munayyers' efforts as an affirmation which captured the essence of
Palestinian identity and represented a continuum of legitimacy and
authenticity. Not only was it a form of constructive resistance, Ashrawi
continued, but an act of loyalty and a pledge of commitment to the future.
The Munayyers' initiative is heartening, Ashrawi explained, precisely
because Palestinians have been wounded in their identity, having suffered
exclusion, denial, dispossession, exile and oppressive military occupation.
Ashrawi proceeded to briefly and eloquently review the recent Palestinian
experience. Throughout the "peace process," she noted, Palestinians were
assaulted by more land confiscation and settlement expansion, military
incursions and assassinations. Jerusalem is surrounded, isolated,
spiritually and physically violated. The separation wall is stealing not
only Palestinians' land, but also their horizon. For the past seven years,
during which the peace process has been suspended, Ashrawi continued, Israel
has increasingly resorted to unilateralism and militarism while claiming it
has no partner for peace. Throughout all this, Ashrawi said, the
international community has kept its distance, the U.S. has been complicit,
and the Arab world is on the defensive with an initiative that lies dormant.
Reacting to the lack of any prospects for peace, Ashrawi explained, the
Palestinian people elected Hamas in the January 2006 legislative elections.
Hamas got not only the ideological vote, she said, but also the protest
vote, the angry vote, and the despair vote. This created internal
polarization between Hamas and Fatah, weakened the traditional left and new
initiatives such as her own party, The Third Way, and led to the crossing of
red lines: the slippery slope of civil war, kidnappings, the emergence of
militias and the breakdown of the rule of law.
Ashrawi called the subsequent international boycott of Palestinians the
essence of hypocrisy: while Israel has been a military occupier for decades
with full immunity, a people under occupation are subjected to sanctions
because of democratic elections. The boycott has serious consequences, she
warned, and not only for those who advocate democracy. It has deprived Hamas
of the right to govern and therefore given it an excuse not to. There can be
no economic transparency when a government has to resort to carrying money
in suitcases, she added, and Palestine has become a charity case on the
receiving end of emergency money. Ashrawi said she has never before seen the
Palestinian people in such bad straits.
Ashrawi welcomed the Mecca initiative, which provided a mechanism for a
national unity government and stopped most of the violence. It began the
rehabilitation of Hamas, which entered the government without sufficient
preparation, according to Ashrawi, but went beyond what is required and is
now displaying political flexibility. This type of government, however,
enhances factionalism by dividing the spoils rather than sharing power. It
cannot lift the economic siege or stop sanctions on its own and may lead to
a backlash, she warned. In Ashrawi's opinion, the real question is whether
Palestinian leaders are willing to make political concessions at the expense
of an open, pluralistic society.
Despite Israel's dysfunctional government which wants to design a peace
that puts the right of return off the agenda and allows it to retain
settlement blocs and Jerusalem; despite a weakened and divided U.S.
administration, disaster in Iraq and the debacle in Lebanon; and despite
attempts to create new divisions within the region, Ashrawi suggested that
the revival of the 2002 Arab initiative can work because the situation
requires multilateral involvement. The "political horizon," she concluded,
must be a genuine landscape for peace and not a receding line in the
Jane Adas is a free-lance writer based in the New York City metropolitan
The Qutubs Donate Palestinian Dress to PHF
Annie and Joseph Qutub have donated an antique Palestinian dress to the Palestinian Heritage Foundation. The Foundation
would like to thank the Qutubs for their generosity and support to the
Mrs. Steen Donates Palestinian Dress to
Mrs. Alexandra Steen of Albuquerque, New Mexico
donated an antique Palestinian embroidered dress from the southern coastal
plains region of Palestine. The dress was bought by Mrs. Steen's
mother-in-law while living in Amman, Jordan between 1966 and 1968. The
Foundation would like to thank Mrs. Alexandra Steen for her generosity in
donating the dress in memory of her mother-in-law Mrs. Mary O.
Steen, a friend of the Palestinian people.
utmost gratitude to those whose
helped make this evening
Mr. and Mrs.
Mr. and Mrs.
Mr. and Mrs.
Dr. and Mrs.
Mr. and Mrs. Issa
Middle East Understanding
The Palestinian Heritage Foundation
would like to express its gratitude and appreciation
for the generous donations made by the following persons
Mr. and Mrs. Hesham Mahmoud
Dr. and Mrs. Adel Afifi
Dr. and Mrs. Ted Baramki
Mrs. Louis Glock
Mr. and Mrs. David Handal
Mr. Ramzi Ayyad
Ms. Arwa Hazin
Mr. and Mrs. Joe Alfred
Fr. and Mrs. George Kevorkian
Ms. Rima Bordcosh
Ms. Christine Moore
Mr. and Mrs. Jeff Rosen
Mrs. H. Khoury
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Qutub
Mrs. Carol Sutherland
Mr. Ibrahim Al Husseini
Ms. Arwa Nasser
Dr. and Mrs. Basel Yanes
Mr. and Mrs. Ziad Jebara
and Mrs. Badr Jebara
Mr. and Mrs. Munther Karaman
Drs. Charles and Lina Abboud
Mr. and Mrs. Samih Darwazah
Mr. and Mrs. Saife Titi
Mr. and Mrs. Asaad Jebara
Letters to PHF............
Hello Hanan and Farah
I just wanted to congratulate you on another wonderful event. You somehow
managed to surpass all expectations, in spite of the horrible weather.
Archbishop Attallah Hannah's speech was inspirational and riveting. The
power of his presence, his language and delivery was only topped by his
words of unity and love to all, Muslims and Christians alike.
I've always loved Simon's music, but his two new pieces "Iraq" and "The
Wall" gave new meaning to how music can move and inspire. I was looking
at Simon's face as he was playing and saw the raw emotion that inspired him
to write such hauntingly beautiful notes.
As for Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, I've always hoped that she would be the
spokesperson for ALL the Arabs not only the Palestinian people. Her
eloquence is unsurpassed and I'm so glad to have met her personally.
Again I thank you for giving me the privilage of wearing the
beautiful dress, it made me delve deep and feel a real connection with my
I have to tell you that Randa was amazing as an MC, you should be sooo
proud of all the beautiful young women in your family.
Your efforts are going to be felt generations from now.
Hello Farah and Hanan,
Assad and I had a wonderful time at the event and it was nice to see
Mary Thompson Jebara
I want to tell you what a beautiful source of inspiration your costumes
pieces and articles are. I have a BS in Apparel Design and Development with a
strong interest in historical fashion and costuming.
Your website has given me a beautiful look into Palestinian art, textiles,
traditional garments, and customs. I plan to look for your video at libraries in
Minneapolis. Thank you for all of your hard work and research; it is needed now
more than ever.
Thank you and best of wishes,
Palestinian Costumes & Embroidery:
A Precious Legacy
A Video Review By Shira
For the video review by Shira click the link below: