Palestinian Heritage Foundation 

Newsletter of the Palestinian Heritage Foundation
  Volume 18,  No. 1                            March, 2012      

نشرة مؤسسة التراث الفلسطيني

Mark Your Calendar for PHF’s 25th Anniversary Banquet

The Palestinian Heritage Foundation will celebrate its 25th anniversary on Sunday, May 6, 2012. The Banquet will be held at the Newark Airport Marriott Hotel and will host several distinguished guests of honor, including Archbishop Atallah Hanna, Dr. Clovis Maksoud, Metropolitan Philip Saliba, Dr. Ziad and Mrs. Naila Asali, co founders of the American Task Force on Palestine, and Dr. John Mahoney, Executive Director of Americans for Middle East Understanding.

For more information on the event, please click the flier below. To reserve your tickets in advance, contact Farah Munayyer at (201) 247-6278 or (973) 575-8648.  Please note seat reservation is made on a first come, first serve basis upon receipt of payment.

Friends of Nazareth will Host Author Hanan Munayyer

The Friends of Nazareth, a U.S. cultural and philanthropic social organization, will host Hanan Munayyer author of “Traditional Palestinian Costume: Origins and Evolution”. The event will take place at the Friends of Nazareth convention, held at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, NV between April 27 and 29, 2012.

On Saturday, April 28, Hanan will be the guest speaker at the convention, which is typically attended by over 600 people from across the country. Mrs. Munayyer will present her research on the cultural and historical significance of contributions from the Arab world, including an extensive and up-to-date study of the origins of Palestinian embroidery and costume, from antiquity to medieval Arab textile arts, to modern day. Mrs. Munayyer will autograph her book following the lecture.

A Gift to World Leaders

Given positive feedback from world leaders in regards to receiving the book “Traditional Palestinian Costume: Origins and Evolution” by Hanan Karaman Munayyer at the past United Nations General Assembly meeting from President Abbas, the Palestine Authority has acquired last February fifty additional copies of the book.  The historical and cultural significance of the book provided a meaningful depiction of the Arab people at this moment of history. See article below by Dr. Clovis Maksoud for his thoughts on the book’s impact during this historic moment in history.


Civilized Rebuttal to a Political Distortion

By Dr. Clovis Maksoud

 Hanan Munayyer’s “Traditional Palestinian Costume: Origins and Evolution” constitutes a decisive rebuke to those who, in a pathetic and shameful distortion of the identity of the Palestinian people, define them “invented.” When Newt Gingrich, who claims to be a “historian,” uttered this fallacy, a rush of other Republican candidates competed as to who could go further in amplifying this ferocious and scandalous attack on the Palestinian people and their identity. From this perspective, this collection constitutes, albeit unintentionally, the civilized response correcting the historical record.

While the claim of Palestinians being “invented,” and the looseness with which this fantasy was uttered but never seriously rebutted, let alone questioned by most of the political and media establishment in the U.S., explains much of the flawed relations the U.S. has with many of the Arab people despite a deep undercurrent of appreciation for it’s values.

It is this appreciation, as well as a prevailing Arab—and especially Palestinian—conviction that the U.S. is a persuadable entity, that cements the bonds among the Palestinian and Arab people with the people of the United States. Nearly a quarter of a century of research and documentation undertaken by Farah and Hanan Munayyer explains the strong commitment of the Palestinian Heritage Foundation that they formed.

While the notion that Palestinians are “invented” has, in one way or another, characterized U.S. treatment of Palestinian national rights, this can be altered by a constituency of conscience that, when required, can be the much needed corrective force enhancing America’s national understanding of Palestinian rights.

Like other central Palestinian and Arab-American contribution, notably, by Walid Khalidi and the late Edward Said and Hisham Sharabi, among hundreds of others, comes this exceptional compilation, which adds a new dimension to the intellectual and cultural wealth of the United States.

This epic landmark should embolden and reconfirm the obvious continuum, namely that Palestine exists, and rebuts the invented fallacies so that the truth prevails. This monumental volume by Hanan Munayyer constitutes a significant contribution that eventually will liberate those who, for too long, were addicted to prejudice against the Palestinian human and national rights.

This rich repertoire of embroidered patterns that have been revealed through these costumes is as relevant a source of historical data as any archaeological find. In a way, this inspiring contribution testifies to the Palestinian people’s unwavering commitment to the belief that their right to national and human dignity is irreversible and it’s realization is inevitable.


  Below is the review in Choice magazine,
a prestigious and influential publication
targeted to university librarians nationwide:

Traditional Palestinian Costume: Origins and Evolution
Hanan Karaman Munayyer


By K. S. Edwards
Clemson University

In this gorgeous volume, the author, a Palestinian American who, with her husband, began collecting traditional dress in 1987, draws from her own and various museum collections to illustrate an argument for a cohesive Palestinian cultural identity stretching back to the beginnings of Middle Eastern civilization. Even as the traditional forms, materials, techniques, colors, and motifs represented in the collection as a whole reflect the cultural, socioeconomic, and political factors that shaped the area’s tumultuous history, the Munayyer Collection derives its true power from the skill, resilience, and very localized expressiveness of the Palestinian women who created these extraordinarily beautiful objects. Hundreds of exquisite photographs, including many double-page spreads, communicate an intense experience of texture, color, and detail, making it a perfect and necessary complement to the present volume’s more formal stylistic organization for any textile or Middle Eastern studies collection.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through researchers/faculty; general readers.

Grace Yeni Komshian Donates Collection to Foundation

Professor Grace Yeni-Komshian of Maryland has donated ten embroidered garments from Syria and Palestine to the Foundation. The items included several Syrian coats, dresses, pants (shirwal) and a jacket bought by Dr. Komshian during her frequent visits to Syria and Lebanon in the early 1950s.

The Foundation would like to take this opportunity to thank Professor Grace Yeni-Komshian for her generosity and kindness and for her appreciation of the Foundation’s activities in showcasing Arab culture and arts to the world.

Mrs. Mendenhall Donates Pillows and Accessories to PHF

Mrs. Ethel Mendenhall of Ann Arbor, Michigan has donated six antique Palestinian embroidered pillow cases, and two pieces of head gear embellished with silver coins to the Foundation. Several years ago, Mrs. Mendenhall donated two exquisite Palestinian dresses that were featured in Hanan’s book.

The Foundation deeply thanks Mrs. Mendenhall for her generosity and kindness and for her appreciation of the Foundation’s activities.

Traditional Palestinian Costume: Origins and Evolution

The book reflects the historical and cultural richness of Palestine and the Arab world through costumes and embroidery. It presents the most exhaustive and up-to date study of the origins of Palestinian embroidery and costume — from antiquity through medieval Arab textile arts to the present. Also, it documents the evolution of costume and the textile arts in Palestine in the nineteenth and early twentieth century region by region.

We invite you to acquire it for your personal library and to gift it to family, friends, libraries and educational institutions.

Hardcover – 10″ x 14″ – 560 pages – Over 700 photos – Clam-Shell box

List price – $200
Price through Foundation – $165

Copies autographed by the author are available only through the Foundation.
Payable by check to “PHF” at the address below:
Palestinian Heritage Foundation
P.O. Box 531, West Caldwell, NJ 07007-0531

For shipping and handling within the continental United States, please add $10 per book. For more information, contact  

 Book Reviews and Lectures:
Hussein Ibish’s review in NOW Lebanon. August 2011

This Week in Palestine, Book of the Month.
The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Dr. Clovis Maksoud review in The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.
Library of Congress
The Jerusalem Fund  
We’re on Facebook!
For the latest PHF updates and photos, visit us at: