UNRWA at 70
UNRWA at 70
The Palestinian History Tapestry was exhibited at an all-day meeting at the British Library in London on 30 November 2019 marking the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA). The event was supported by the Palestine Return Centre, the Al Jazeera Centre for Studies, and the European Centre for Palestine Studies at the University of Exeter. A star-studded programme of speakers included two PHT Patrons – Ghada Karmi and Ilan Pappé. A looped slide show was used to display on a large (LB) screen very high definition images of the 97 panels that currently constitute the Palestinian History Tapestry. The original stitched panel marking the foundation of UNRWA was also displayed.
PHT featured at Memo 8th Palestine Book Awards
Middle East Monitor launched the 8th Palestine Book Awards season in front of a packed gathering in London earlier this month. For the first time in the award’s history, each of the shortlisted books was twinned with a panel or a collection of panels from the Palestinian History Tapestry which were on display during the award’s pre-launch discussion with the authors. Some of the beautifully crafted tapestries by Palestinian women from within and outside the occupied territory created a setting befitting any celebration of art and literature.
The evening was kicked off by journalist and author, Victoria Brittain, who is also a trustee of Palestine Book Awards. Her remarks expressed delight not only at the award’s success, which since its launch in 2012 has morphed into one of the most anticipated events of the year related to Palestine, but also at the display of beautiful Palestinian embroidery corresponding with each of the shortlisted books.
Following the successful partnership, the Palestinian History Tapestry project is now set to become an annual feature of the Palestine Book Awards.
Palestine 4000 years of history
PALEXPO Olympia London 6-7 July 2019
All the current original, stitched Palestinian History Tapestry panels were displayed publicly for the first time at PALEXPO 2019, a celebration of Palestinian culture at Olympia on 6 & 7 July 2019, which was attended by over 10,000 visitors. Several thousand people of all ages visited the Tapestry, which covered both sides of 100 metres of free-standing display boards.
We were told by Friends of al Aqsa (https://www.foa.org.uk/) – the organisers of PALEXPO 2019 – that there was a buzz of excitement about the Tapestry among visitors.
Many visitors took pictures, and some filmed the Tapestry. One of the first visitors was Swee Ang, the trauma surgeon who has worked tirelessly in Gaza. Although she was amazed by the Tapestry, she was not surprised by the quality of the beautiful stitching, for which Palestinian embroiderers are well-known.
All the visitors with whom we spoke were complimentary about the Tapestry, and many of the Palestinian visitors were visibly moved by it and expressed gratitude to the designers, stitchers and other contributors to PHT Project. We distributed business cards with the Project’s website and email addresses, and urged those visitors with suggestions for modifying some panel narratives to send their comments to the PHT Project’s email.
Mounting, monitoring, and dismantling the Tapestry was hard work for our small PHT team, but we were glad to have taken advantage of Friends of Al Aqsa’s invitation to exhibit the Tapestry at PALEXPO 2019. A measure of the success of our contribution is that FOA have asked us to consider being a regular feature at future PALEXPOs.
Presentation at LPHA 10th annual meeting in Amman, 27 March 2019
Shaima Alwaheidi and Doaa Hammoudeh presenting the Project to the participants at the 10th birthday dinner of the Lancet-Palestinian Heath Alliance [LPHA].