Palestinian Heritage Foundation 

Newsletter of the Palestinian Heritage Foundation
Volume 3, No. 3                     December 1997   

نشرة مؤسسة التراث الفلسطيني

Palestinian Art at Washington National Cathedral

The Palestinian Heritage Foundation and the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) are cosponsoring a cultural exhibit at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, during March and April 1998. The exhibit will reflect the history of Jerusalem for the past 5000 years.

The display will feature art, embroidery, pottery, ceramics, glass and calligraphy produced by Palestinians in Palestine. It will also include crafts made of olive-wood and mother-of-pearl, manufactured in Bethlehem and Jerusalem.

To mount an effective and impressive display, the PHF will meet with Arab-American organizations in Washington to raise funds to cover the expenses needed to set-up this exhibit.

If you wish to help in making this special event a success, please send your tax-exempt contribution to: PHF, BOX 531 West Caldwell, NJ 07007, earmarked Washington National Cathedral Exhibit. A list of all contributors will be posted at the Cathedral during the exhibit.


Prince Turki Donates $6000 to PHF Activities

His Royal Highness Prince Turki Bin Abdul Aziz, a philanthropist, Arab nationalist and ardent supporter of education for Arab students and cultural projects around the world has donated $6000 to support the activities of the Palestinian Heritage Foundation. This generous contribution came on the eve of the Foundation’s 10th Anniversary, in appreciation of PHF’s continued achievements in promoting Arab art and culture.

Prince Turki is the son of King Abdul Aziz Bin Saud, founder of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and one of the six brothers of the Kingdom’s present ruler, King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud.

Over the years, Prince Turki has generously provided assistance to those in need. He has devoted his life and a significant part of his personal financial wealth to helping Arab countries meet the educational and scientific challenges of the twenty-first century.

Speaking on behalf of the fortunate and wealthy, the Prince said, “we have an obligation and a duty to provide for education leading to increased knowledge of the human conditions of those who have less than ourselves.”

With unwavering support for Arab education and culture, Prince Turki has been able to ensure the success of financially needy Arab students and cultural organizations. His vision that “Knowledge is the Key to Freedom and Peace” continues to spread throughout the Arab World and around the globe.

The Prince’s reputation for philanthropic leadership has not gone unnoticed. Prince Turki is the Honorary Chairman of the International Union to Combat Cancer in the Middle East. This is the first time a non-medical person was asked to fill this role.

In 1989, Prince Turki agreed to lead the campaign to restore one of the greatest repositories in written history, the fabled library of Alexandria, Egypt. The doors of the library closed for the last time about 2000 years ago.

At a special ceremony organized by the Committee to revive the ancient library in Alexandria, Prince Turki was the first to donate a generous $3 million. Most recently, HRH donated US$550,000 towards the building of the School of Science and Technology at AL KUDS University.

The Palestinian Heritage Foundation would like to take this opportunity to thank HRH Prince Turki for his generosity and dedicated support of the Foundation’s educational and cultural activities.

“Lebanese Hours”.…..

was a fascinating fine arts exhibition, which pays homage to a resilient Middle Eastern nation trying desperately to recover its dignity after almost two decades of turmoil and vicious civil war.

The exhibit featured diverse works by three prominent adult artists from Lebanon and fifty award-winning pieces by Lebanese children.

“Lebanese Hours” was held at the Neighbour House Bed and Breakfast on West Mill Road in Long Valley, NJ, from October 13th through the 25th. Local schools were encouraged to arrange field trips to the exhibit. The public had the opportunity to meet the artists at a special opening reception arranged in their honor on Saturday, October 18th. The occasion was celebrated with Arabic music and a lavish array of Arabic food and beverages.

All of the Lebanese artists participating in “Lebanese Hours” are currently living in the United States. Ms. Jihan Tannous, a friend of the Foundation, was always fascinated by the simple beauty of the Lebanese landscape and architecture. She travels back to Lebanon often to record the splendor of her country and the daily life of her people. Most of her work focuses on architecture: the human presence marked by things left behind, an open window or an open door which invites the viewer in. In 1989 she said “ I left home but home never left me. More than ever I feel a yearning for what made Lebanon that unique: the beauty of its landscape and the warmth of its people.”

Soumaya Samaha is a very active artist whose work is frequently shown in galleries throughout New York City. The lyrical spirit in her pastels and oils, often on handmade paper, emerges from her Middle Eastern roots.

Nishan Kazadjian’s works are the result of a long search to find a language that integrates diverse aspects of art and architecture in a single, new entity. The inspiration for this art derives from various sources, including the simple white-washed houses of the Greek Islands, and the work of Rietweld, Mondrian and others.

HABIBI, A New Children’s Story

By Naomi Shihab Nye

Naomi Shihab Nye, best known for her poetry anthologies (The Tree is Older Than You Are; I Feel A Little Jumpy Around You; and This Same Sky) and her endearing picture books (Benitos Dream Bottle; and Sitti’s Secrets;) tackles uncharted waters with her first novel, HABIBI: A Novel (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Ages 8-12).

A provocative story for middle grade readers, HABIBI is the story of a fourteen year old girl and her experiences in present-day Jerusalem. Publishers Weekly states that HABIBI, a…” soul-stirring novel about the Abouds, an Arab American Family, puts faces and names to the victims of violence and persecution in Jerusalem today…. Nye’s climatic ending will leave readers pondering, long after the last page is turned, why Arabs, Jews, Greeks, and Armenians can no longer live in harmony the way they once did.”

Nye successfully builds a bridge to the Arab World, introduces a family, which readers will not soon forget, and offers a hope for peace.

Lecture at Princeton Middle East Society

On Sunday November 16, Hanan was guest speaker at the monthly meeting of the Princeton Middle East Society (PMES) at the All Saints Church in Princeton. Hanan’s lecture was followed by a delicious Middle Eastern dinner, specially catered for the event.

Following the lecture, three dresses representing Bethlehem, Ramallah and Beit Dajan were modeled by three young Palestinian-American girls, Nadia Taha and Randa and Mona Munayyer.

Palestinian embroidery from Najdeh and In’aash workshops in Lebanon were available for sale along with a free copy of the ARAMCO WORLD special issue on Palestinian embroidery.

Founded in 1983, the PMES consists of academic, business, religious and diplomatic figures in the Princeton area. Many have lived, worked, or traveled in the Middle East and are interested in expanding public awareness and understanding of the history, culture and current affairs of the area.

The evening was made possible by the dynamic members of PMES, Mrs. Rima Taha and Dr. Hilal Taha of Princeton, New Jersey.