Palestinian Heritage Foundation 

Newsletter of the Palestinian Heritage Foundation
  Volume 13,  No. 4                        December, 2007     

نشرة مؤسسة التراث الفلسطيني

Munayyer Collection on Display at United Nations in New York

On November 29, the Palestinian Heritage Foundation participated in the International Day of Solidarity celebrated annually by the United Nations at the UN Headquarters in New York. The Foundation was invited by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations to share its collection of Palestinian antique costumes and crafts with the public. This is the third time the Foundation has presented the collection at the UN since its establishment. The exhibit lasted from November 22 through December 9, 2007, and was curated by Hanan Munayyer.

The evening commenced with a welcoming statement by Mr. Paul Badji, Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and was followed by a brief statement by Farah Munayyer representing the Foundation. The reception was attended by more than 400 guests.

PHF Statement:

Ladies and gentlemen,

Your Excellency Mr. Paul Badji, Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, your Excellency Mr. Yasser Abed Rabboh, Secretary General of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, your Excellency Dr. Riyad Mansour, Palestine ambassador to the United Nations, ladies and gentlemen:

It is the Palestinian Heritage Foundation’s distinct honor and privilege to join you tonight in commemorating the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People by exhibiting a selection of its extensive collection of art and crafts; namely, Palestinian traditional costumes, the symbol of the identity of Palestinian village women who wrote this part of their people’s history with needle and thread.

Ladies and gentlemen, selections from this collection have been exhibited in such distinguished institutions as the Fuller Museum in Brockton, Massachusetts, the Mingei Museum of Folk Art in San Diego, CA, The Washington National Cathedral, D.C., the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles, CA, and at the American Arab National Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

Hanan and I, founders of the Palestinian Heritage Foundation, wish you a pleasant and memorable evening. We hope that you will enjoy both the exhibition and the musical performance by Dr. Simon Shaheen and Qantara.
Mr. Yasser Abed Rabboh spoke of the role of culture and art in promoting Palestinian identity and its effect on public opinion, and the role it plays in improving the image of Palestinians around the world. Being that Mr. Abed Rabboh participated in the Annapolis Peace Conference, he was optimistic of the conference results and the future of the peace process.


Palestine: A Continuing Legacy on display at the United Nation, New York
November 22 through December 9, 2007

Threads of Pride: Palestinian Traditional Costumes

on display at the American Arab National Museum in Dearborn, Michigan since July 12, 2007 came to a close on November 25, 2007. On display for five months, the exhibit has been well received and was widely covered by the local and national media. Visitors to the exhibition came from across the United States, Canada and Europe. Below are some of the comments made by visitors to the exhibit. These comments and people’s feedback were extracted from the visitor’s book.

Thank you for a spectacular collection and very informative lecture.
Wadad Abed

I felt so proud to know more about what we had to give to this world.
Rana Fakih

Very impressive.
Suheila Khoury

Impeccable – exhilarating. The Munayyers have labored for decades, lovingly collecting and preserving these treasures. A testimonial to them and a tribute to Palestinian heritage, beauty and art. BRAVO and deepest thanks and appreciation.
Ruth Ann Skaff, Washington DC.

Very beautiful and informative. Promotes Palestinian culture to ward off wrong notions that Palestine was “a land without people”. The history cannot be denied no matter how hard they try to destroy Palestinian villages. Palestinians were there.

Amazing beautiful exhibit. Thank you so much for all the efforts!
Billy Norris, CA

Thank you for the celebration of Palestinian art and pride. I am American born descendant of Ramallah, Palestine. My mother gave me pieces that she and her sister embroidered that I have treasured and will pass on to my children.

What a beautiful history of pride. Thank you for being here. We are proud of it.
Juhina Begs

One of the most beautiful exhibits I have ever seen!
Chicago girl

These Threads of pride are gorgeous. Truly stunning in their beauty and detail. What a treat.
Ilham Al Hariri

Wonderful – should have one also in DC.
Samir Abu Ghazaleh & family

Reliving a memory that must never fade.
Aref Assaf

Amazing collection! please keep the good work. This is a complete collection of cities of Palestine.
Jaser Al Dabbous, Buffalo, NY

Beautifully done, a wonderful experience for me.
Charles Bustany Jr. member of Congress, 7th district, LA

Simply brilliant. Such prized treasures
Fadia and Zahra Seyam

Beautiful ! love the display ! One helpful thing would be to include a map of the different regions/cities represented. I want to bring this to Philadelphia.
Sami Sayed

Beautiful and amazing. It is an honor to visit a place where our tradition and history are displayed so eloquently.
Marie Faris & Usama Mabjish, Miami, Fl

Beautiful and educational. Thank you very much for showing this exhibit – enjoyed it very much !
Linda Votring

Very impressed by the conditions (very good ) of these dresses – keep up the good work.
Khaled Cheleori, Windsor

We loved your display and reproductions. Thank you for the pictures – maps – and quality.
Barbara Carden Sullivan

Being involved with fabric and thread art I can appreciate the talent and marvelous clothing.
Zohra Arastu, Columbia, SC

What a beautiful collection and an excellent display.
Larry Segal

Outstanding exhibit.
Hala Ajluni

Very beautiful exhibit.
Liza Hajjar, Charleston, NC

Very interesting and well preserved.
Nancy Shihadah, Fl

Very nice. I like the dress of my people – Al Majdal
Hana Salaymeh

Beautiful and wonderful exhibit.
Ali and Krystal Gebara, Ottawa, Canada

This exhibit brought tears to my eyes and made us so proud to be Palestinians, thank you.
Alaee and Nihaya

Lovely exhibit ! Thanks for preserving such beauty. I only hoped to see more ware from the Galilee.
Will Younan, Ann Arbor, MI

Thank you for bringing this beautiful and informative information to the Detroit area. I was born in Detroit in 1941 and its wonderful to learn about the Arabs, Christians and Jewish influence in the world. It gives me and my family great insight in the community we live in. I am African American.
Jewell Lile

Wonderful exhibit ! Brings an appreciation of the fine workmanship and amazing intricacy of this vanishing art.
Riad and Madeline Al Awar

A wonderful exhibit of Palestinian textiles, garments, etc of different regions. My father was born in Jerusalem, Palestine in the 30’s so it is a blessing to be able to see this exhibit. Thanks very much.
Ann Becker

Thanks for keeping our culture alive and showing the positive aspects. It seems the news only shows the negative side, shukran.
An Arab

Keeping this work alive is beautiful.
Jeff and Huda Rosen

Very informative lecture and a mesmerizing exhibit. Will visit it again and tell my friends to come.
Jacque Albrecht

These intricate designs amaze me ! Wowza !! Love it.

I was privileged to see the wonderful display.
Muna Munassar

Wonderful to see how the human spirit comes through even amidst all of the adversity and displacement that the Palestinian people have endured over the years ! Remarkable and outstanding workmanship.
Reda Taleb

Excellent presentation on an important but sadly neglected ancient culture.
Paul Lee

Munayyers, you make us proud.
Naila Asali, Wadad Abed, Najat Kafity, Rudaina Melhem, Nina Zacharia and Im Bassam

A beautiful exhibit, very educational – a treasure of national pride and talent.
James M. Gray

I have never seen anything like this before – it is a wonderful exhibit. Thank you !
Kate Krieger

What a beautiful testament to such a rich culture – a wonderfully mounted exhibit.
D. Campbell

Exceptional collection of costumes – impressive selection of accessories – extraordinary workmanship – a feast of color for the eyes – and wish this was a permanent exhibit as a testament to the embroidery skills of the Palestinian people.
Mary Kruger
former costume curator,

This is an exquisite display of embroidery done by the Palestinian women. I am very impressed with the labor put into it.
Jane King

Thank you for sharing these beautiful cultural/artistic treasures !
Kevin Chapel

I traveled from Pittsburgh, PA to see this exhibit. It was well worth the effort.
Sarah Haddad

This is beautiful and amazing exhibit. Sometime I know I forget that with each ethnic region in the Middle East is distinct, but you don’t see that as much. But this is a reminder and a beautiful one too.
Sali Nuh

Makes me proud to be an Arab. Wow, thanks for sharing this rich cultural heritage. It was worth the travel from Las Vegas to Michigan……
Suhair Sayegh

Very fine collection.
Jordan Mendenhall

Incredible display.   
Diana Abu Jaber

Wonderful collection. Brings pride to me as a Palestinian to see all this work.   
Christina Shanti

Beautiful, I wish more people would visit and see that we are awesome people.

A beautiful display of Palestinian culture.
Henry and Ileanor Stephan, IND

This is truely a treasure to be saved.
George Gorayeb

Dear Hanan and Farah, this is really GREAT, GREAT.
Safa Rifka

Wonderful exhibit. This is the way to go.
Dr. Nabil Tabbara

Beautiful, intriguing – such detail.
Kathleen Walsh, MI

A remarkable celebration of ingenuity and creativity imagination of women! very, very lovely! What an art to behold.   
Dolores S. Slowinski

Lovely exhibit! Thanks for preserving such beauty. I only hoped to see more from Galilee. It was wonderful, of course. Salaam,   
Will Youmans, Washington DC

I absolutely love this exhibit. It made me feel proud of my heritage. Thanks so much.   
Riavanee Danr, UK

A gift to see this amazing exhibit. Thank you for bringing it to Dearborn .  
Betsy Cushman

What a beautiful testament to such a rich culture. A wonderfully mounted exhibit.   
Sara Campbell

I have never seen anything like this before. It is a wonderful exhibit. Thank you.  
Kate Krieger

A beautiful exhibit. A treasure of national pride and talent.   
James M. Gray

Thank you.   
Paul Westin, Stockholm, Sweden

Fascinating, elegant hand work and gorgeous designs. Lovely presentation.   
Unknown, Evanston, IL

Exceptional collection of costumes – impressive selection of accessories – extraordinary workmanship – a feast of color for the eyes. I wish this was a permanent exhibit as a testament to the embroidery skills of the Palestinian people.   
Mary Jo Kruger, former costume curator/International Institute

Amazing, beautiful exhibit. Thank you so much for all the efforts.   
Billy Norris, Santa Monica, CA

It was my pleasure to visit and enjoy seeing this nice collection. Great work and best regards.   
Mohamed Melad, Embassy of Libya, Washington, DC

Beautiful, I own every book about Palestinian dresses but it is the first time I have seen one from my mother-in-law’s region of Haifa. It is exactly as she described it to me 20 years ago. Thank you. Worth the drive from Chicago.


Selections from the Munayyer Collection at the Antiochian Heritage Museum

Syrian costumes and crafts from the Munayyer Collection are on display at the Antiochian Heritage Museum in Ligonier, PA.


Sovereign Threads:
Historical and Contemporary
Palestinian Embroidery

A Lecture by Hanan Munayyer,
Co-founder of the Palestinian Heritage

Saturday December 1, 3:00 – 5:00pm
Museum of Arts & Design
New York

Presented in conjunction with the exhibitions Palestine: A Continuing Legacy, on display at the United Nations Headquarters through December 9, 2007, and Pricked: Extreme Embroidery, the Museum of Arts  Design’s latest exploration into how centuries-old handcraft traditions are rejuvenated in contemporary art and design, on view through March 9, 2008.

The rich and continuous tradition of Palestinian embroidery addresses the struggle to sustain cultural heritage and identity despite displacement and fragmentation. Hanan Munayyer, co-founder of the Palestinian Heritage Foundation, will speak about their extensive collection, which features costumes from different villages in the regions of historic (pre-1948) Palestine including Ramallah, Jerusalem (Al Quds), Bethlehem, and Galilee (Al Jalil). Munayyer will also show contemporary embroidery by women in refugee camps in Lebanon who use traditional motifs adapted to modern designs.


Foundation Acquire Additional Antique Garments

The Foundation has recently acquired  several Palestinian embroidered garments from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. These items include a dress from the village of Betunia near Ramallah, three Malak dresses from Bethlehem including one “khdari”, one khirka scarf from Ramallah, one gharfeh scarf from Hebron and a man’s embroidered jacket from the Galilee region in northern Palestine.

The Foundation has further acquired two dresses from the Jerusalem villages from Ms. Margaret Buchholz of New Jersey, and one Malak dress and two Syrian Sarakeb dresses from Ms. Alexandra Hansen from New Hope, PA.

Ms. Buchholz bought both dresses during 1977-1979 while on a trip to the Middle East including Yemen, Jordan and Syria. Her visit to a Palestinian refugee camp stayed with her all these years, leaving her sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. “I am so happy I found your organization”, she wrote.

Ms. Alexandra Hansen wrote that she bought the Bethlehem dress in the Old City of Jerusalem in the spring of 1963 or 1964. While living with her husband in Turkey at the time, they traveled to Beirut for a meeting, passing through Jerusalem on their way. The two Syrian dresses were purchased in Kuwait City – the older one in the spring of 1982 and the other about a year later, in the same place.

PHF Mail……….

Hello Farah,

Thank you for getting back to me so quickly. I heard about you from my aunt Lily Karam who has your video on VHS. I also saw the great exhibit at the Craft and Folk Art Museum in LA. I really admire all your work.


Dear Hanan and Farah

I’m so glad to hear from you. A friend of mine went to the event in Dearborn, brought back your brochure. We looked up the information online. It’s a beautiful idea… preserving the Palestinian Heritage.. We, Madison Rafah Sister City Group, would love to help. This is a great project that helps build relationships and bridges between the west and the Palestinians. And it’s a great way to tell the Palestinian story. As soon as I get the details and the OK from you, I will contact the Gallery director and go from there. I think it’s a great project and people here in Madison would greatly appreciate it.

I look forward to working with you.

A. Othman

Dear Hanan and Farah:

Hanneh and I wish to thank both of you for your thoughtfulness and your kind invitation to share with you this bright spot in the long march towards our ultimate goals to restore to the Palestinians their state and their dignity and respect among the nations of the world, doing that in a civilized and humane way in perfect reflection of the true spirit and character of the people entrusted with guarding the Holy Land. This event will be long remembered and appreciated by both of us and the music of Simon Shaheen and Qantara has added a very sweet tone to the whole experience.

Adeeb Roumi


Palestinian Costumes & Embroidery: A Precious Legacy

A Video Review By Shira

For the video review by Shira click the link below: