Newsletter of the Palestinian Heritage Foundation
Volume 10, No. 2
Palestinian Heritage Foundation
Sunday, September 12, 2004 the Palestinian Heritage Foundation held its
Seventeenth Anniversary Banquet in memory of the late Edward W. Said.
of Dr. Said's friends were invited to participate to honor his memory: Among
those joining in the commemoration were Dr. Rashid Khalidi, professor of History
at Columbia University, Mrs. Naila Asali, former Chairwoman of the American-Arab
Anti Discrimination Committee, Dr. Clovis Maksoud, Head of the Department of
Global South at the American University in Washington DC, Dr. Ziad Asali,
President of the American Task Force for Palestine and renowned composer and
musician Dr. Simon Shaheen.
most heartwarming aspect of the banquet was the presence of many friends and
supporters. There were 250 attendees, several traveling considerable distances
to be there. The evening also featured displays of artwork by artists
and Rajie Cook.
The mood of the evening was that of a family party, which is not surprising,
since PHF’s supporters share a concern about their common heritage as members of
a larger Palestinian family.
Arab American Medical Association, New Jersey
Chapter co-sponsored the Banquet in honor of their late friend Abu Wadi.
The speeches of the contributors to the
Banquet are below:
With the passing of Edward
Said, his family, friends, colleagues, students,
readers and critics suffered a loss. Yes, even his critics, for he challenged
them in ways that commanded respect and appreciation of his perspective. But
loss is a single event and every death is a loss. What lingers with the loss of
this man is the continued absence, the wide, deep nothing where a
once stood. And we are left with a great nothing where there once was a rare
figure who spoke for us and to us and about us while now there is silence. In
French, I miss you is tu me manques. You lack to me. I am lacking you. I
am diminished by your absence. I am less because you are not here. I believe
that we miss Edward Said
in precisely that way. We are now lacking.
was a teacher and he has taught us enough to fill even his own absence. As a
result of his deep, probing, incisive thought, we have the tools to speak for
ourselves in the way in which we had depended on him to do on our behalf. I do
not expect that there will be another Edward
Said. No such man will ever again exist but we
can hope that there will be men and women of brilliance and discipline who can
take his work and provide their own voices to the discussion of what it means to
be an Arab in America. Someone
to describe what it is to be so thoroughly immersed in two cultures that one is
no longer simply a product of either but a new, strange and ultimately wonderful
thing that is whole and plural.
and his generation of Palestinian Americans suffered tremendous loss. Country,
identity, homes, family, history and the attendant material representations of
each. I believe that Edward
Said did as much as a single man can to
chronicle, analyze, and redress the individual loss. Furthermore, he strove to
redress the loss on behalf of the Palestinian people. His entire professional
life was spent in service to this cause. Now, those who lost so much have had to
learn to live with the loss of Edward
But history persists and
our story is still being told. Edward
Said spent a lifetime teaching the world what
it means to be slighted by history. He taught the world the toll that losing
takes but he also redefined the stakes of victory. Triumph which diminishes the
vanquished also depletes the victor. We must believe in the promise of a history
in which injustice is met with justice and not retribution. We must learn that
loss is not the defeat. Betrayal of the legacy is defeat. Silence is
defeat. Accepting to lack, that is defeat. Edward
was not defeated. He has simply stepped aside so that others may receive the
laurel of victory. Who of us who remains in the fight will take up the
Needless to say, I am
frustrated and disappointed that I am unable to be with you tonight. Concerns
about our forthcoming UNDP Arab Human Development Report 2004 on freedoms and
governance has delayed my return. My regret for my absence tonight is surpassed
only by the overwhelming pain in the memory of Miriam’s
phone call almost a year ago to inform me that Edward
wants me to know that he cannot attend and speak—a tribute you honored me with
one year ago.
I was so moved by the fact
that Edward even thought of the event at that
moment! That gesture, amidst his trying hours, demonstrated a thoughtfulness
that truly defined his unique blend of sensitivity, elegance and consciousness;
which vividly explains Edward’s enduring and
indeed ennobling impact on his wide spectrum of friends, admirers, peers and
students. It also helps us comprehend his guiding role and exemplary leadership
that emboldened the constituency of conscience in the
United States, the Arab world and throughout. It, once again, has emboldened us
to face the difficulties and the widespread challenges we, and coming
generations, are confronting and will continue to face.
Friends, the memorial
tonight is a celebration of his enriching legacy, and an opportunity to remember
how lucky we were to have lived with him. And more importantly for us during our
collective quest for the peace of anchored security provides; to remember the
excitement of national and human liberation and the delight in the struggle for
justice. For Edward, these were viable and
achievable commitments. This is why he remained uncompromising and why he often
expressed anger—so stimulating and elegant in his outbursts—so inspirational.
was disdainful of compromise, this disdain was matched by the intensity of his
efforts at genuine reconciliation. For Edward,
compromise weakens the integrity of our common humanity and reconciliation
animates it. This is how Edward
was able to render the function of culture an enhancement of the quality of life
for all. From his perspective, Palestine
was not only his patrimony of origin, but it was where justice and injustice had
an arena of confrontation. In this respect, there was no room for compromise
under the pretext of realism, but reconciliation to heal the wounds and stop the
bleeding, not only of humanity, but the bleeding of mutual commonalities.
this was not an “Arab-Jewish” conflict, but an Arab conflict with the Zionist
project that inflicts untold suffering on the Palestinian people, and eventually
on the Jews themselves. Edward’s powerful
breakthrough into this eventuality rendered him an apostle of reconciliation
rather than the so-called “realist” that opportunist pragmatists wanted him to
be. His joint musical appearances with Berenboim and the intellectual
engagements with many of his Jewish counterparts in academic and progressive
circles made him insistent that the Palestinian struggle should always take the
“moral high ground.”
To you, my friends gathered
tonight—Edward Said’s friends—please revel in the immense wealth of his legacy
and celebrate Abu Wadi, the potential contagion that his set of ideals can
become; namely the new reality that has long eluded the Arabs and particularly
the Palestinian people.
To Miriam, the family:
However much we celebrate Edward and Hala, and how genuine our pride and
appreciation for the warmth that has enveloped us through them, there will
always be a nagging lump that inextricably links us to the extended family they
have provided us and the very special bonds that have rendered their memory
integral to whatever remains of our lives.
To you Farah and his
family, the Palestinian Heritage Foundation: We all realize that your investment
in this cultural enterprise will be a principal contribution to the Arab and
Muslim American communities and hopefully to the American community at large
that Palestine lives.
The Edward Said
National Conservatory of Music
The National Conservatory
of Music (NCM) was established in 1993 in the city of
Palestine. Since then, two more
branches have been established in Bethlehem and
Jerusalem. The three centers, with a total enrollment of
440 students, teach performance of Oriental and Western instruments such as the
Oud, Qanoun, Buzuk, Nay, Flute, Cello, Piano, Guitar, Percussions and
Violin, as well as theory and musical history.
At the NCM’s 2004
Graduation Ceremony, Mrs.
Tarazi, Chairperson of the Board of
Supervisors, announced that as of September 2004, the Center’s name would be
officially changed to the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music (ESNCM), dedicated
to the memory of the late giant and honorary Board Member of the Center.
The ESNCM music curriculum
is designed to give its students a broadly structured instrumental and
theoretical musical education. It consists of three levels: Preparatory,
Elementary and Intermediate. Upon completing the three levels, students are in a
position to apply to any university or music academy.
The ESNCM has published a
series of four books called Sharqiyat for students in the Department of
Oriental Music, and a Piano Book for Beginners consisting of 40 Arabic
folk tunes. The Center is also working on the formation of a full-fledged
Palestinian Orchestra of 120 musicians within the next five-year. Six musicians
who have graduated from the Conservatory are now on their way to complete
doctoral degrees in music.
PHF Donates to Edward
Said National Conservatory of Music
The Palestinian Heritage
Foundation has donated $4,000.00 to the Edward Said National Conservatory of
Music in Ramallah, Palestine. The
donation will help the ESNCM acquire badly-needed musical instruments for
students attending the Conservatory.
In a letter addressed to the Foundation, the ESNCM
General Director, Mr. Suhail Khoury wrote:
On behalf of the Edward
Said National Conservatory of Music, I would like to thank you and convey to you
our deepest gratitude for your decision to make a donation to the Conservatory.
It is such wonderful gestures and donations like that of the Palestine Heritage
Foundation that keeps us going and keeps us able to make a difference in the
lives of Palestinian children. To see those children and teenagers flocking to
the conservatory every day with their musical instruments on their backs or in
their hands with a proud smile on their face makes all the difference for us and
makes us very happy.
I hope that all the people who made donations would
feel very proud and happy themselves having participated in such a wonderful and
We agree to use your
donation towards buying musical instruments. We will let you know what exactly
has been bought as soon as we receive your donation and make the purchase . . .
The Edward Said National
Conservatory of Music
PHF Joins the Ibn Rushd Center
Festivities in Richmond
On Saturday, September 18,
2004, the Palestinian Heritage Foundation participated in a program sponsored by
the Ibn Rushd Cultural Center in Richmond,
Virginia. Hanan Munayyer presented a lecture
and slide show about the history of art, crafts and embroidery in the Middle
East. More than 300 people were in attendance, including
the keynote speaker for the evening.
The afternoon program
included a dabkeh troupe, an exhibition of Palestinian art and crafts and
selections of antique costumes, pillows and scarves from the Munayyer
Collection. Following the program, the audience enjoyed Arabic food prepared by
the ladies of the Center.
PHF would like to thank Mr.
and Mrs. Jamil Abed of the Ibn Rushd Center for their kind invitation to
participate in the program and for giving us the opportunity to meet the Arab
American community of Richmond, Virginia.
Ashrawi's letter to PHF.
Joins PHF Advisory Board
Mrs. Hania Salam Osman of
Washington DC, and sister of the late Dr.
Maksoud, accepted PHF’s invitation to join the Foundation's Advisory Board. PHF’s invitation to Mrs.
was offered in appreciation of the generous donation made by
Osman and her brother
Salam of their late sister Hala's collection
of Arab costumes to the Palestinian Heritage
Usama Sakam, Ziad Asali, Rashid Khalidi and Hania Salam Osman
Hania Salam Osman was
born in Beirut, Lebanon.
She is the daughter of Malek
and Najwa Karami.
Hania graduated from Beirut
for Women in 1966. She is married to Ghassan
Osman and has three daughters: Ghida, Nayla
and Maria and four grandchildren.
Rare Antique Doll Collection Donated
Former U.S. Ambassador to
Kuwait William Stoltfuz of Princeton, New Jersey has donated to the Palestinian
Heritage Foundation a rare collection of dolls wearing Arab costumes
representing Palestine, Syria and Lebanon. The dolls were purchased by
Ambassador Stoltfuz' parents, the late Mr. and Mrs. Stoltfuz who went to Lebanon
in 1917 as missionaries and within a few years had established the
Beirut College for Women (BCW). Some years later, they established a
similar institution in Aleppo,
The BCW later became co-educational and became known as the
(LAU). These institutions significantly contributed to the education of
thousands of women and men from the Arab world who today form the backbone of
the educated and cultured personalities in the Arab world.
The dolls were purchased by the Stoltfuz from UNRWA camps in Lebanon in the
late 1940s and early 1950s immediately after the Palestinian naqba, ending up in
refugee camps in Lebanon under the auspices of the United Nations.
Stoltfuz is now retired and lives in
New Jersey, and is an active member of the
Middle East Society. The Palestinian Heritage Foundation would like to thank
Ambassador Stoltfuz for preserving these dolls
and for his generosity in donating this collection to PHF. The Foundation was
honored to host Ambassador Stoltfuz
as its guest at the Seventeenth Anniversary Banquet where the dolls were on
PHF Exhibit Collections at the
Selections from the Munayyer
Collection and the Palestinian Heritage Foundation collection are currently
on display at the newly-dedicated Heritage
Museum at the
Center of the
Ligonier, Pennsylvania. Costumes from the
Bethlehem and Jerusalem areas were included in this exhibit, which will extend
through the Christmas season. An extensive Palestinian exhibit covering all
regions of Palestine will be opened at the museum in early 2005 for a duration
of six months, to be followed by a Syrian exhibit and, eventually, by a pan-
Arab costume show.
The Foundation is currently
raising funds to construct a platform for the display, and to purchase
mannequins and other items to befit such a unique collection and a
Dedicated last June, the
Heritage Museum inaugural exhibition included paintings and drawings by Gibran
Khalil Gibran on loan from the Telfair Museum of Art in Savannah, GA, and
original letters in Arabic from Gibran to then Archimandrite Antony Bashir who
translated Gibran's book The Prophet from English into Arabic.
ANTIOCHIAN MUSEUM ADDED HOLIDAY ATTRACTION FOR REGION
By Denise O’Neal
As the Christmas holiday season approaches, stop to
consider how Mary and Joseph looked as they quieted their hearts in a stable for
the birth of Jesus Christ. Then, plan a visit to the new Antiochian Heritage
Museum at Antiochian Village Conference Center to view “From Bethlehem to
Jerusalem: A Glimpse from the Past,” a new temporary exhibition providing
samples of the traditional ancient dress and its symbolic heritage.
Visitors will enjoy a
special life-size nativity scene comprised of Mary, Joseph and Jesus wearing
authentic dress of this historic region. Noteworthy is the “Bethlehem Chestpiece,”
a colorful, intricately designed and hand-embroidered garment accessory that was
added to a traditional dress to cover a woman’s chest. This “malak,” meaning
majestic, was highly admired and was adopted by surrounding villages for its
symbolism. The embroidered ancient “tree of life” vine remained constant while
later evolutions of the chestpiece included a cross for Christ and four
medallions representative of the four evangelists from the New Testament Bible,
Saints Luke, Mark, Matthew and John.
Variety in fabrics, colors and other accessories such as
belts, scarves and cloaks, and headpieces are also shown. Historically and
traditionally, each village developed a unique combination of dress and
accessory elements that became a badge of its identity. Special explanations
are offered relative to symbolism and origins of particular items and designs.
The costume displays are set amidst a variety of Eastern crafted cultural items.
The magnificent display of ancient Eastern dress is part
of the Munayyer Collection of the Palestine Heritage Foundation. Farah
Munayyer, born in Jaffa and Hanan his wife, from Haifa, have spent the past 12
years developing the collection. An outgrowth of the costumes, the Munayyers
founded the Palestine Heritage Foundation in 1992 to preserve Palestinian arts
and crafts and to educate people about the Middle Eastern culture. The antique
costume collection, though still acquiring items, is the most complete
collection in existence.
“We are delighted to show the Bethlehem exhibition for
the holiday season in the Ligonier Valley and Laurel Highlands Region. It will
remain on temporary display into the spring,” said Father Michael Massouh,
Executive Director for Antiochian Village. “It has been displayed at venues such
as the United Nations, the National Cathedral, the Fuller Museum in Boston, the
Mingei Museum of Folk Art in California, Harvard University, and West Point
Military Academy,” he added.
In addition to the new exhibition, the Museum’s
permanent exhibition, “Iconography, Religious Relics, Cultural Artifacts,” is
comprised of religious relics, cultural items, and historical artifacts that
demonstrate the rich cultural heritage of the Middle-Eastern people and Eastern
Christianity. Part of the Antiochian Permanent Collection, this exhibition takes
visitors on an enlightenment journey through the Middle Eastern ancestry of the
Antiochian Orthodox Church. Included are examples of artistic craftsmanship in
metal work, woodwork, iconography, and various household and garment textiles.
left: Man and woman from Bethlehem, costumes from Jerusalem and Bethlehem,
Ramallah khirqa, evolution of Bethlehem chestpiece,
Ramallah smadeh, Ramallah and Bethlem headpieces. Middle row: Brass tray,
Bethlehem costumes, Jerusalem costumes, Jerusalem and Bethlehem
straw tray, Below row: Close up of Jerusalem and Bethlehem jackets, scarf from Jerusalem, Bethlehem chestpiece, Bethlehem shatweh,
Antique brass lamp and Jerusalem sleeve.
Munayyer Receives Award from NJ
State Council on the Arts
New Jersey State
Council on the Arts is pleased to inform you that you have been awarded a Folk
Arts Apprenticeship grant in the amount of $3,000.00. Your application was
reviewed by a panel of folk cultural specialists and was determined to be among
the best in meeting the criteria for this grant program.
The panel found
Munayyer to be an excellent master of
traditional Palestinian Embroidery and Craft and found you to be well prepared
for and committed to developing your skills in this art form.
Letters to PHF.......
It was wonderful seeing
you, Farah, and Hanan in
VA. Your work is impressive indeed, and
Hanan's presentation was captivating.
I would like to thank you
for your kind invitation to the Palestinian Heritage Foundation Dinner last
evening. Your gracious hospitality was extraordinary and well beyond any
expectations. It was a privilege to meet you and to be seated with your
distinguished guests, Mrs. Said, Dr. and Mrs. Asali, Simon Shaheen, Mr. Ousama
Salam and especially Dr. Rasid Khalidi, with whom I had an opportunity to renew
my friendship after so many years. All were most gracious and welcoming. Last
night I felt proud of my Arab heritage and at home in your company.
Wishing you continued
success in your important work of preserving the Palestinian cultural heritage
and God's blessing on you and your family.
of Liberal Arts and Sciences
As always, PHF's banquet is a highlight. You Munayyers sure know how to
organize excellent events!