Palestinian Heritage Foundation 

Newsletter of the Palestinian Heritage Foundation
    Volume 19,  No. 3                      September, 2013        

نشرة مؤسسة التراث الفلسطيني

Hanan Addresses HCEF Audience in Bethlehem via Skype

On Saturday, June 6, 2013, Mrs. Hanan Munayyer was guest speaker at The Second International Diaspora Youth Conference sponsored by The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation held in Bethlehem, Palestine. Sharing the panel with Mrs. Munayyer was renown Artist Suliman Mansour and Ms. Haneen Saleh, member of the Hanouneh Society of Amman, Jordan. The panel discussed the Role of Art and Culture in preserving Palestinian culture and heritage. Hanan’s PowerPoint presentation was delivered via “Skype”. The participants included members of the “Know Thy Heritage” delegation of 2013, who have come home to Palestine from four continents and seven different countries.

The Holy Land Ecumenical Foundation’s “Know Thy Heritage” program preserves the Arab Palestinian heritage and highlights the importance of Palestine as part of the Holy Land by connecting youth of Palestinian ancestry, who live in the Diaspora with their roots in Palestine.”

Palestinians have always preserved their culture in Occupied Palestine as well as in the Diaspora. They continue to hold on to their identity, values, norms and traditions to ensure that they connect the past with the present, strengthen and empower the future leaders of Palestine through future generations of Palestinian Youth. This is critical and necessary in the ever present struggle to gain freedom and independence. Experts in art and culture discussed the importance of empowering the next generation of Palestinian leaders, and their role in preserving the future of Palestine, its art, culture and heritage.

Know The Heritage delegation of 2013 in Bethlehem

Foundation Launches NJ Public Library Project

On Friday July 2, 2013 the Palestinian Heritage Foundation launched the New Jersey Public Library Project. The gist of the project was inviting the local Arab community to participate in supporting the placement of the book “Traditional Palestinian Costume: Origins and Evolution” that earned “Book of the Year” Award in the United States in one hundred New Jersey Public Libraries or university libraries. The response so far is very encouraging.

As a follow up to that announcement the Foundation sent out an e-mail, to those who have already acquired the book and who acknowledge the benefits of this publication, requesting their help in sponsoring such an important endeavor to improve the Arab and especially the Palestinian image in the American community.

Foundation Acquired Anna Rychter May Watercolor

The Palestinian Heritage Foundation has recently added to its  collection of paintings an old watercolor painted by the renown painter, the late Anna Rychter May. The painting was acquired from Mr. and Mrs. De Martis who lives in Genoa, Italy. The Palestinian Heritage Foundation already own twelve other watercolor paintings by the same artist.

About the provenance of the painting Mr. De Martis wrote: “this watercolor originally belonged to my wife’s uncle. He was a professor who worked for the Department of Pediatric Surgery in the main hospital here in Genoa. He travelled all over the world during his life. He loved art and he had a great collection of paintings. My wife is not sure if the painting comes from one of his travels or he bought it here in an art gallery. For sure he framed the painting here in Genoa. He didn’t marry so my wife was almost a daughter to him. When he died in 1974 everything was inherited by his brother (my wife’s father ) and then to her”.

The late artist Anna Rychter May arrived to Palestine in 1923 . During her life in Jerusalem she participated in several art exhibitions. Until she passed away in the mid 1950s at the age of ninety, Anna Rychter May lived in Arab East Jerusalem, Palestine and was buried in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Hanan Munayyer Speaks at Columbia University

On Thursday August 1, 2013, Mrs. Hanan Munayyer was guest speaker at the Middle East Department at Columbia University in New York City. Hanan’s presentation included the history background of Palestinian and Arab textile and embroidery patterns including a display of three embroidered antique dresses representing three different regions of Palestine along with several contemporary embroidered pillow cases, wall hangings and accessories made by Palestinian women workshops in Lebanon. The audience consisted of Columbia University students majoring in Arabic language and faculty members.

Mrs. Kaiser donates Antique Syrian Dress to Foundation

Mrs. Margo Kaiser of Cherry Hill, North Carolina has recently donated an antique embroidered Syrian dress to the Palestinian Heritage Foundation. Mrs. Kaiser had acquired the dress as a teenager when her mother bought it for her in Beirut, Lebanon in the 1940s.

The Foundation expresses its appreciation to Mrs. Kaiser for her generosity and to Dr. Burhan Ghanayem, MD for being intrumental in introducing Mrs. Kaiser to PHF.

Susan Azar of Michigan donates to Foundation

Ms. Susan Azar of Northville, Michigan donated recently three antique items to the Foundation. These items included an old Arabic Bible that was brought from Syria, a men’s shirwal pants, and an inlaid brass set that she inherited from her great great grandfather who arrived in the United States from Al Koura, Syria in 1900. Al Koura is presently part of Lebanon.

According to the handwritten information included in the bible, the book belonged to Bishop Salem El Chourray El Azar who was the Orthodox Bishop in Syria in the eighteenth century.

Al Hannouneh Society for Popular Culture

Featured performance in Montclair, New Jersey on Saturday, September 7th 2013 at the Memorial Auditorium Montclair State University

Al Hannouneh is one of the most esteemed traditional folklore societies in the Arab world. Formed in 1993 as a cultural response to the threat of the loss of identity among Palestinian youth, Al Hannouneh has dedicated itself to preserving the cultural heritage of the Palestinian people both in Palestine and in the diaspora. It is driven to teach and train the youth about their own cultural heritage, particularly through dabke dance, Arabic music and dramatic choreography that tells the Palestinian narrative through artistic expression. Al Hannouneh also functions as a cultural society that preserves craft forms such as traditional dress embroidery with its many creative variations based on village of origin.

Specializing in dramatic choreography, music and dabke dance, Al Hannouneh seeks to preserve Palestinian culture and identity through artistic expression. Their performance in Montclair, New Jersey was the first stop on an eight-city tour in the United States, including Alexandria, Virginia, Raleigh and Charlotte in North Carolina, Richardson and Houston in Texas, and Downey and San Diego in California.

Hanan and Farah Munayyer who attended the event along with several hundred people were fascinated by the high quality performance of the Group.

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 – $150

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:
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.

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