The Language of Palestinian Tatreez

September 8, 2017

PSN is thrilled to host a presentation and two hands-on workshops on the history, meaning, and story behind the Palestinian traditional art of tatreez.

The Language of Palestinian Tatreez
Presentation by Wafa Ghnaim and Feryal Abbasi-Ghnaim
Friday, September 29 (7:00 – 9:00 pm)
Edmonton Clinic Health Academy (ECHA) Room 2-190
Corner of 114 St & 87 Ave, University of Alberta (map)

RSVP for this free presentation on Facebook or Eventbrite.

For generations, Palestinian women have gathered together with their daughters to work collectively on traditional Palestinian tatreez embroidery projects, bonding with one another over a cup of tea. Over time, and after the exodus of Palestinians from Palestine in 1948, embroidery has become an endangered art that has been subjected to decades of cultural appropriation.

But embroidery represents more than just a village craft of old Palestine — it became the primary form of communication for Palestinian women who used needlework as a way to express their opinions, share their stories, and document their protest of occupation, war and violence.

In this presentation, Wafa Ghnaim and her mother Feryal Abbasi-Ghnaim will decode and discuss the meaning and history of traditional tatreez embroidery patterns, bringing traditional Palestinian embroidery to life by revealing the profound depth in meaning, inspiration, and storytelling power that is encapsulated in each motif.

This event is free and open to the public.

PSN is a working group of the Alberta Public Interest Research Group (APIRG), and their support has made this event possible.


Palestinian Tatreez Workshops
With Wafa Ghnaim and Feryal Abbasi-Ghnaim
Saturday, September 30
$20 regular | $12 low-income/student

Morning workshop: 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Afternoon workshop: 2:00  pm – 5:00 pm
University of Alberta campus

Space is limited! Registration to both the morning and afternoon workshop is required.

Participants will learn how to embroider a traditional Palestinian embroidery motif, using the cross-stitch technique, to create a small wall-hanging to frame. The workshop will be hosted by Wafa Ghnaim and Feryal Abbasi-Ghnaim, who will provide a hands-on tutorial to participants on how to embroider using traditional Palestinian techniques, focused on the preservation of the indigenous, endangered art of Palestinian embroidery.

The workshop is centered on Wafa’s book, Tatreez & Tea: Embroidery and Storytelling in the Palestinian Diaspora, which attempts to preserve the craft of embroidery as well as the art of storytelling that is encapsulated in each traditional Palestinian motif.

Wafa and her sisters grew up learning the time-honored folk art and tradition of embroidery from their mother, Feryal Abbasi-Ghnaim. Researching over thirty years’ worth of oral history interviews, recorded demonstrations, lectures, journal entries and photographs from her and her mother, Wafa documents, decodes and preserves the patterns, meanings and oral history of over a dozen traditional Palestinian embroidery designs passed on for generations between women in her family.

For generations, Palestinian women have gathered together with their daughters to work collectively on embroidery projects, bonding with one another over a cup of tea. Over time, and after the exodus of Palestinians from Palestine in 1948, embroidery has become an endangered art that has been subjected to decades of cultural appropriation. But embroidery represents more than just a village craft of old Palestine — it became the primary form of communication for Palestinian women who used needlework as a way to express their opinions, share their stories, and document their protest of occupation, war and violence.

All materials will be provided. Due to the preparation required for the workshop, we cannot offer refunds for cancelled registrations.

Register online for the morning workshop.

Register online for the afternoon workshop.

About the presenters

Wafa Ghnaim is an American born Palestinian businesswoman, writer and artist. Her father’s side of the family is from Yaffa, Palestine, though they now reside in Amman, Jordan. Her mother was born in Safad, Palestine, twice displaced — first, to Damascus, Syria and then to Amman, Jordan. Wafa and her two sisters began learning Palestinian embroidery from their mother when they were each about 4 years old.

Wafa is the author of Tatreez & Tea: Embroidery and Storytelling in the Palestinian Diaspora, which is based on over 30 years’ worth of oral history interviews, recorded demonstrations, lectures, journal entries and photographs from her and her mother. In the book Wafa documents, decodes and preserves the patterns, meanings and oral history of over a dozen traditional Palestinian embroidery designs passed on for generations between women in her family.

Feryal Abbasi-Ghnaim was born in Safad, a northern city in Palestine. During the 1947-48 war, her and her family fled Palestine for refuge with the intention of returning after the war was over. Her family first fled to Damascus, Syria. Then to Manbej, a town in Northern Syria near Aleppo where they resided until 1952 when they moved to Irbid, Jordan.

Feryal learned embroidery from her mother and grandmother in Syria. Palestinian women have gathered together for generations with their daughters to work collectively on embroidery projects, bonding with one another over a cup of tea, and Feryal found solace in continuing the tradition with her own daughters.

Feryal has dedicated her life’s work to teaching young women of color the traditional art of Palestinian embroidery and fabric art, and still leads workshops and classes at all educational levels in public schools in Oregon, and is a four-time grant recipient of the Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program through the Oregon Folklife Network.

For full bios of Wafa and Feryal, visit tatreezandtea.com.

PSN is a working group of the Alberta Public Interest Research Group (APIRG), and their support has made this event possible.


United Church Launches Unsettling Goods Campaign

December 2, 2013

unsettlinggoods

The United Church of Canada has launched the national Unsettling Goods campaign to work towards peace and justice in Palestine/Israel. The campaign “encourages United Church members and others to become involved in the search for a just peace between Palestinians and Israelis by contributing to the end of the occupation of Palestinian Territories.”

In a November, 2013 letter to all United Church congregations announcing the campaign, United Church of Canada Moderator The Right Rev. Gary Paterson wrote

The 41st General Council in August 2012 called on United Church members to take concrete actions to support the end of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. You and your congregation are now invited to Pray, Choose, Speak for Peace in Palestine and Israel.” Join in worship, prayer, and study; economic action focused on settlement goods; and support for trust-building programs between Palestinians and Israelis. Become involved in conversations with Canadian Jews and Canadian Palestinians. Take positive actions for peace with justice.

A core element of the Unsettling Goods campaign is support for the boycott of three settlement products: Ahava, Keter Plastics, and SodaStream, and engagement with four key Canadian retailers that sell these products: Canadian Tire, The Bay, Home Depot and Walmart Canada. Fact sheets, sample letters, and tips for engaging with retail store managers can be found on the UCC’s Economic Action Resources page.


TODAY! IAW 2013 Events for Tuesday, March 5

March 5, 2013

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The Art of Resistance: The Cultural Boycott of Israel
Featuring Remi Kanazi
Tuesday, March 5 (6:00 – 7:30 pm)

Telus Building Room 134
Corner of 111 Street & 87 Avenue, University of Alberta Campus

(Click here for map)

Help us spread the word! Invite your friends to the Facebook event.

One of the most misunderstood and controversial aspects of the Palestinian call for international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel is the Cultural Boycott.

Despite clear guidelines issued by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) stressing that the cultural boycott is aimed at Israeli state institutions – not individual artists – critics of BDS still argue that it is nothing more than a “blacklist” and that “art should rise above politics.”

Come hear from Remi Kanazi, member of the organizing committee of USACBI (the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel), to learn more about the cultural boycott, why artists have a key role to play in the global solidarity movement for Palestinian rights as they did in the global struggle against apartheid in South Africa, and why an increasing number of artists from around the world – including filmmaker Ken Loach, writer Naomi Klein, and musicians including Cat Power, Elvis Costello, the Pixies and Gil-Scott Heron – have responded to the international Palestinian call for cultural boycott.

“Just as we said during apartheid that it was inappropriate for international artists to perform in South Africa in a society founded on discriminatory laws and racial exclusivity, so it would be wrong for Cape Town Opera to perform in Israel.”
– Archbishop Desmond Tutu

About Remi Kanazi:

Remi Kanazi is a poet, writer, and activist based in New York City. He is the author of Poetic Injustice: Writings on Resistance and Palestine (RoR Publishing, 2011) and the editor of Poets For Palestine (Al Jisser Group, 2008).

His political commentary has been featured by news outlets throughout the world, including Al Jazeera English, GRITtv with Laura Flanders, and BBC Radio. He recently appeared in the Palestine Festival of Literature as well as Poetry International. He is a recurring writer in residence and advisory board member for the Palestine Writing Workshop and he is on the organizing committee of USACBI (the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel).

He has taught poetry workshops from Oklahoma to the West Bank, given talks from New York City to London, and has performed at hundreds of venues, from New Orleans to Amman.


Poets Against Apartheid – A Night of Rouge Poetry
Featuring Palestinian-American poet Remi Kanazi

Tuesday, March 5 (8:30 – 11:00 pm)
Rouge Lounge
10111-117 Street

(Click here for map)

Help us spread the word! Invite your friends to the Facebook event.

Join us at Rouge Lounge for our annual night of spoken word and performance poetry relating the liberation struggle of the Palestinian people. This night will leave you inspired to share the stories of struggle with others and to be part of the growing movement against the injustice of apartheid in Palestine.

The evening will feature a set of local poets performing original works of poetry, as well as readings in both Arabic and English of works by Palestinian poets. After the break Palestinian-American poet Remi Kanazi will perform a set of spoken word.

If you are interested in performing during the first set, please email Sara at shussein07@gmail.com).

The evening is presented in collaboration with the Breath in Poetry Collective.

Sorry, no minors.

All IAW 2013 events are open to everyone, and are free of charge. We look forward to seeing you there!

Edmonton IAW 2013 is organized by Palestine Solidarity Network and supported by the Canada Palestine Cultural Association, Faculty 4 Palestine Alberta, the Alberta Public Interest Research Group (APIRG), the Breath in Poetry Collective, and Independent Jewish Voices.


Craig and Cindy Corrie to Keynote Edmonton Israeli Apartheid Week 2013

February 4, 2013

Rachel Corrie

PSN is thrilled to announce that Craig and Cindy Corrie will be keynote speakers at the Fifth Annual Edmonton Israeli Apartheid Week, running March 4 – 8, 2013. Check out the full schedule of events for IAW 2013.

The Legacy of Rachel Corrie: A Family’s 10-year Journey for Justice and Peace
Featuring Cindy and Craig Corrie
Wednesday, March 6 (7:00 – 9:00 pm)
Telus Building Room 150
Corner of 111 Street & 87 Avenue, University of Alberta Campus
(Click here for map)

Help us spread the word! Invite your friends to the Facebook event.

Ten years ago, Cindy and Craig Corrie’s daughter, Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old human rights activist and observer volunteering in Palestine, was killed by an Israeli military Caterpillar D9R bulldozer in the Gaza Strip as she tried to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian family’s home. The Corrie family has spent the last decade fighting for answers and accountability for Rachel’s death, and have continued Rachel’s work by becoming active in Palestinian solidarity through the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice.

Join us for a unique opportunity to hear firsthand about Rachel’s legacy and the Corrie’s decade-long search for justice through US and Israeli courts, and the Corries’ ongoing work in Palestine. Cindy and Craig will also explore why the Palestine/Israel issue is relevant to all North Americans, and discuss the critical role North Americans can play in taking action to support the ongoing worldwide movement for Palestinian human rights.

This is a free event. Donations to the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Human Rights are gratefully accepted.

Organized by the Palestine Solidarity Network as part of Edmonton Israeli Apartheid Week 2013.

PSN is a Working Group of the Alberta Public Interest Research Group (APIRG), which provided financial support for this event. This event is also supported by the University of Alberta Department of Political Science.

About Cindy and Craig Corrie

Cindy and Craig Corrie are the parents of human rights activist and observer Rachel Corrie who on March 16, 2003, was killed by an Israeli military, Caterpillar D9R bulldozer in the Gaza Strip as she tried to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian family’s home. Motivated by their daughter’s work and example, the Corries have dedicated themselves to the pursuit of justice and peace in the Middle East and have made numerous visits to the region, most recently in fall 2012 leading Interfaith Peace-Builder delegations to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.  “Rachel wrote of the importance of making commitments to places and initiated this one to Rafah and Gaza. The commitment she made continues,” said Cindy Corrie.

The Corries have continued to seek accountability in the case of their daughter and to promote changes in U.S. foreign policy in Israel/Palestine through efforts with the U.S. Congress, U.S. Departments of State and Justice, the Israeli Government, the Israeli and U.S. court systems, and at the corporate headquarters of Caterpillar Inc.

It is the continuing policy of the U.S. Government that the matter of Rachel Corrie’s killing has not been adequately investigated and addressed by the government of Israel.  Encouraged by U.S. officials, the Corrie family in 2005 filed a civil lawsuit in Israel in their daughter’s case.  On March 10, 2010, seven years after Rachel Corrie’s killing, oral argument in the case began in Haifa District Court.  It proceeded with sporadic court dates until a final hearing on July 10, 2011.  In an August 28, 2012 ruling, Judge Oded Gershon absolved the Israeli military and state of all responsibility.  The Corrie family has recently filed an appeal with the Israeli Supreme Court.  A hearing is scheduled for February 14, 2014.

Rachel Corrie was a prolific and gifted writer. With their daughter Sarah, the Corries co-edited Let Me Stand Alone: the Journals of Rachel Corrie, a collection of Rachel’s poetry, essays, letters and journal entries, published by W.W. Norton & Co in 2008. The Corries speak widely of their daughter’s story and experience, and of their own work with the people of Palestine and Israel   They are frequent guests at post-performance discussions of the play My Name is Rachel Corrie, co-edited by Alan Rickman and Katharine Viner, and produced in theaters across the U.S. and world.

The Corries have resided in Olympia, Washington, for over thirty-five years where with community supporters, they now carry on the work of the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice.  In December 2010, the foundation was recognized for “outstanding service for Human Rights-Unique Achievement” by the Thurston County Diversity Council. The Corries are recipients of a Human Rights Advocate of the Year Award from Seattle University’s Human Rights Network and a Pillar of Peace Award from the Pacific Northwest Region of the American Friends Service Committee.  In October 2012, they accepted the LennonOno Grant for Peace on behalf of their daughter Rachel.

For information about the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice:
http://rachelcorriefoundation.org

For further information about Rachel Corrie:
http://criticalconcern.com/rachelcorrie.html
http://rachelcorrie.org

Let Me Stand Alone and My Name is Rachel Corrie website: http://www.letmestandalone.com


‘This Is Apartheid’ Poster Contest

June 29, 2012

Help fight injustice. Help the world understand Israeli apartheid. Itisapartheid.org and the Lajee Center are calling on activists and artists to submit a poster to the “This is Apartheid Poster Contest.”

Art has always been an important part of liberation struggles.  Images inspire and convey concepts beyond words.

Itisapartheid.org and the Lajee Center are sponsoring a competition for artists and graphic designers, who are invited to submit posters on the theme of Israeli Apartheid.

These posters should reflect the nature, realities, and/or consequences of apartheid policies in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. Posters will be judged by a panel of distinguished activists and artists and through internet voting.

The winning entries will be featured in an online poster gallery and disseminated widely on the internet and various other venues. Youth from refugee camps in Gaza and the West Bank will participate in the contest.

About the Contest

Guidelines

We oppose all forms of racism, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.  Artwork must be original for this contest.  Submissions should not exceed 2 MB.  If your work is selected, you will be asked to provide a high resolution (minimum 300 dpi), print-ready digital file to a maximum size of 38″x25″.   All posters should include the phrase “Endisraeliapartheid.com” in a prominent location.

Deadline

All posters must be submitted by October 1, 2012.

Submissions

Posters must be accompanied by a statement from the maker including her/his name, contact information and any companies, organizations and/or agencies with which s/he is associated.

Competitors must also include a statement acknowledging acceptance of the terms of use.

Submissions can be made by email to: info@itisapartheid.org

Include your contact info and statement about terms of use. We will email you acknowledging your submissions.

Judging

First-hand witnesses of apartheid, artists, and representatives of sponsoring groups will judge posters.  The Global Prize will be judged through internet voting.

Prizes

Expert Jury Prize (judges made up of distinguished artists and activists):  $400
Palestinian Prize (winner must be Palestinian): $300
6 Honorable Mention prizes:  $100 each

For questions or to make a submission, please email info@itisapartheid.org


Palestinian Hunger Striker Thaer Halahleh Told He “Could Die Any Moment”

May 10, 2012

Below is the Electronic Intifada‘s latest update (May 10) on the mass hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners. To support the hunger strikers, you can:

Thaer Halahleh has been told he “could die any moment,” by an Israeli prison doctor, as the gravely ill Palestinian who is held without charge or trial by Israel, completed his 73rd day of hunger strike.

Meanwhile, there have been continued solidarity protests in Palestine against international neglect of the estimated 2,000 Palestinian hunger strikers, and new expressions of solidarity.

Read the rest of this entry »


Event: Humanserve International’s Palestinian Bazaar

January 19, 2012

The HUMANSERVE International Society for Development is holding it’s inaugural Palestinian Bazaar, a full-day festival celebrating the cultural richness of the Palestinian people!

The Palestinian Bazaar
Saturday, March 17 (Noon – 10:00 pm)
12:00 – 6:00 pm: Bazaar (Main Foyer, Free)
7:00 pm: Evening Concert (Westbury Theatre, $15)
Transalta Arts Barns
10330-84 Avenue

Help HUMANSERVE get the word out about this amazing event! Invite your friends to the Facebook event.

Click here to see the detailed program

We know the struggles. We know the politics. We know the pain. Do we really know the talent of the people?

It is time to celebrate the contributions Palestinians make to society through their art, film, food, products, knowledge, literature and their music. Our evening concert will especially highlight their vibrant hip hop scene by featuring the amazing talent of Shadia Mansour, along with AOK, Cousin, People’s Poets, Mazzi, and G.O.

Full details are available on the HUMANSERVE website. You can also like the bazaar on Facebook. Be sure to come check out the PSN table at the bazaar.

About Humanserve

Humanserve aims to share the Palestinian heritage with Albertans and to inform the Canadian public about humanitarian aspects of Palestinians and Lebanese in the Middle East. We endeavor to develop mutual ties with all stakeholders interested in the humanitarian aspects of disadvantaged populations in this area. One of the ways we are able to achieve this goal is to organize public engagement activities such as The Palestinian Bazaar. Public engagement activities link international development activities with community awareness and education in Canada. By making these links, HUMANSERVE works to facilitate a learning process that will enable Canadians to better understand the nature and importance of global issues while encouraging the appreciation of the culture and talent of the people affected by these issues.