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Yearly exhibition celebrates Palestinian heritage, culture

By Mays Ibrahim Mustafa - Oct 06,2022 - Last updated at Oct 07,2022

The annual Palestinian Cultural Exhibition, organised by the Palestinian Cultural Centre, kicked off on Thursday under the theme ‘A Palestinian Story’ (Photos by Mays Ibrahim Mustafa)

AMMAN — The annual Palestinian Cultural Exhibition, organised by the Palestinian Cultural Centre (PCC), kicked off on Thursday under the theme “A Palestinian Story”. 

The event is being held at the Association of Jordanian Contractors in Amman, and features a wide variety of cultural products marked by the traditional Palestinian cross-stitch “Tatreez”.

“Every item here is our unwritten language. It’s how we’re choosing to tell and celebrate our story,” President of PCC Mariam Jaber, told The Jordan Times.

The displayed handicrafts were made by over 250 refugee women in Jordan, who work with the centre from their homes.

“The displayed products keep Palestinian heritage alive, and their revenue achieves the centre’s goal of empowering Palestinian women wherever they may be,” Jaber said, noting that PCC provides these women with any tools, materials or guidance that they need for their work.

“Everything we do here is a team effort; before a piece of cloth becomes a thobe, it passes through many hands; one woman does the embroidery work, one makes the designs and another brings the pieces together into a dress,” she added.

A thobe is a traditional Palestinian dress, featuring brightly coloured handmade embroidery designs.

The money made from the centre’s sales is also used to support underprivileged Palestinian students as well as the families of martyrs and detainees in Israeli prisons, according to Jaber.

She also pointed out that the centre always tries to reach out to younger generations through these exhibitions to make sure that “this important part of Palestinian heritage and identity doesn’t disappear with the older generations”.

“I am proud to say that we even have a number of young men who do embroidery work with us to help out their mothers and cover their education expenses,” she added.

Jaber also noted that this edition aims to shed light on “the struggles and sacrifices of Palestinian heroes back home, including women and children detained in Israeli prisons, the mothers of martyrs and Palestinian journalists who are regularly risk their lives for their profession”.

The exhibition also displays the latest printed books on the Palestinian cause, traditional dishes and products of centuries-old Palestinian ceramic work brought from Khalil, Palestine to support its craftsmen.

Some of the exhibitions’ visitors spoke with The Jordan Times about what makes the event special for them.

Maram Salman, a Jordanian with a Palestinian mother who is visiting the exhibition for the first time, told The Jordan Times: “Being here with all these wonderful women makes me feel warm and proud”.

Twenty-year-old Palestinian Aya Smadi has made it a habit to visit the exhibition every year. 

“It’s inspiring seeing my fellow Palestinian women, who have suffered the horrors of war and displacement, thriving and empowered. It gives me so much hope,” she told The Jordan Times.

The exhibition, which lasts until October 8, includes a painting workshop for children on Friday, and daily traditional Palestinian Dabke performances by Al Hanouneh Folklore Troupe and Al Quds Troupe for Palestinian Folklore.

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