Traditional Palestinian Thobes

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Traditional Palestinian embroidered dresses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Palestine is famous for its traditionally hand stitched thobes (dresses) from across the region. Each city in Palestine has a traditional style and stitch that is uniquely woven into each dress. Below is a series of photos that depict each particular dress style, city to city, across Palestine.

Special thanks to the Palestinian American Cultural Center of Houston for their contribution to this piece.

Ramallah

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Ramallah –
A central city in Palestine, 10 kilometers north of Jerusalem.  Ramallah was known for its high-end lifestyle.  The dresses have distinguishable and finely executed patterns.  Throughout Palestine, Ramallah has been known for its white (un-dyed) roumi-linen embroidered Thob but black dresses were worn on special occasions and in winter.  Most of the embroidery was done with silk thread in mainly maroon tones using ancient Arab patterns.

Nablus

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Nablus –
Main city in northern Palestine, and an important trade center.  The fabrics used were imported from Syria and they came in a variety of stripes and colors creating a significant diversity in the traditional look.  The embroidery is not extensive due to Nablus’ urban nature and its trade relations with other big cities in the Arab world.

Al Khalil

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Al Khalil
One of the oldest towns of southern Palestine that was built on the highest hills of the country.  Village costume fabrics were hand-woven linens, cottons, and silks that were cut in a similar manner to Ramallah dresses, often with long sleeves.  They were covered, however, with much larger areas of embroidery not only at the front of the dress but the sides and back were embroidered in vertical patterns.  The usual embroidery stitch was cross stitch with fishbone as the joining stitch.

Gaza

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Gaza
A southern coastal city that was an important Mediterranean port.  This linen dress is heavily embroidered with triangles, scissors, and combs on the chest as well as front and back panels.  The emphasis on triangular motifs, and the use of designs with amuletic significance found in Gaza are a very strong link between the styles and traditions of the southern fellahin (peasants) and the local nomadic Bedouin tribes.

Gaza Region “Irq El Loz” (Almond Branch)

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Gaza Region “Irq El Loz” (Almond Branch)
Multiple colors have been used for this cottony fabric, including: black, blue, pink and green.  This Thob is distinguished by its bright fresh colors and the variety of embroidery patterns used.  The sleeves have “Irq El Loz” embroidery in stem and stain stitch.  Al Majdal, a southern coastal city, was known as the largest weaving center in Southern Palestine.

Bir El Sabe

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Bir El Sabe
It is the southern desert district in Palestine and it is known for its distinct and particular design and pattern.  The dresses tell a dramatic story.  The dominant red or maroon color is for the Palestinian bride, and the blue is for the widow.  The head cover is decorated with silver and gold coins. It is designed to protect the face from the harsh desert sun and storms. It is also a symbol of modesty.

Lydd

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Lydd

Located South East of historical Palestine.  This beautiful dress has less embroidery than dresses from other regions of Palestine.  It has wide sleeve panels and is lightly stitched on the chest piece and side panels.

Haifa

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Haifa
A beautiful coastal city in northern Palestine, also known as the “Bride of Al Karmel”.  Originally embroidered costume was worn throughout both upper and lower Galilee.  Examples from the 19th century show stunning mixtures of technique.  The garments were often made of handwoven cotton with front sections decorated in a rich patchwork of silk or taffeta appliqué (a technique known as heremezy) and ikat-dyed silk weaves, and with back panels embroidered with silk thread in carpet-like designs of geometric motifs.

Yafa

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Yafa
Main port and coastal city, and also known as the “Bride of the Sea”.  The beautiful white represents the most typical Yafa dress.  The embroidery is concentrated on the chest piece, sides, and back.

Jerusalem

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Jerusalem
Located in central Palestine and a holy city for the three monotheistic religions.  Jerusalem never had its characteristic embroidery style because of its international status and foreign influence.  The primary fabrics were imported from Damascus and were made of silk.  The Jerusalem dress is very colorful and has been influenced by the surrounding regions that gave it a nice mixed style.

Palestinian Customs and Traditions

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Palestinian social customs and traditions date back to the 7th century. The Palestinian customs are rooted in the very soil of the land and are hence inseparable from the lives of the people belonging to Palestine. The customs of Palestine not only get reflected on the society of the land and the people but also in the famous works of art and literature of the country.

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Every year the Palestinian Cultural Center of Houston holds its annual Palestinian Festival in March. The festival is created for American Palestinians to remember their culture and heritage through shared experience and cultural revival.

The festival includes dozen of vendors selling authentic Palestinian attire, medallions, jewelry, food, art, books, crafts, and more. In addition to authentic dancing, traditional fashion shows, and cultural reenactments. We will even have a little bit of fun with the qoosa efharing (we’ll explain what that is later) and falafel eating competitions!

Stay tuned for a series of silly adventures during this years 6th annual Houston Palestinian festival!  But First! A bit of our national anthem to kick it off!

COMMEMORATING RACHEL CORRIE

Date: March 16, 2016
Time: 7:00 pm  to  9:00 pm
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On March 16, 2003, Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old activist from Olympia, Washington, went to Gaza as a volunteer with the International Solidarity Movement. Corrie tried to prevent the Israeli army from demolishing the home of a family she was staying with and was crushed to death by a bulldozer.

This program, sponsored by Palestine Online Store, will commemorate her life’s work with a screening of the short documentary film “Ambulance” and a reading of one of her last letters to her parents describing the situation in Gaza.

Location: Resistencia Bookstore, 4926 E. César Chávez, Unit C-1, Austin

 

– See more at: http://www.thirdcoastactivist.org/events/commemorating-rachel-corrie/#sthash.V9xYrAOk.dpuf

A Tribute to Rachel Corrie

“I have been in Palestine for two weeks and one hour now, and I still have very few words to describe what I see. It is most difficult for me to think about what’s going on here when I sit down to write back to the United States—something about the virtual portal into luxury. I don’t know if many of the children here have ever existed without tank-shell holes in their walls and the towers of an occupying army surveying them constantly from the near horizons. I think, although I’m not entirely sure, that even the smallest of these children understand that life is not like this everywhere. An eight-year-old was shot and killed by an Israeli tank two days before I got here, and many of the children murmur his name to me, “Ali”—or point at the posters of him on the walls. The children also love to get me to practice my limited Arabic by asking me “Kaif Sharon?” “Kaif Bush?” and they laugh when I say “Bush Majnoon” “Sharon Majnoon” back in my limited Arabic. (How is Sharon? How is Bush? Bush is crazy. Sharon is crazy.)”

‪#‎RachelCorrie‬
In a letter written to her family, dated Feb 7th, 2003

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American peace activist killed 13 years ago today by ‪#‎Israeli‬ military while trying to bring to the world’s attention the injustice of the ‪#‎IsraeliOccupation‬ of ‪#‎Palestine‬.

Rest in happiness Rachel and know that your fight was not in vain, that our struggle continues; but with your lead, we follow. Your struggle was not forgotten. Palestine will be liberated.

BDS App; To Buy or Not to Buy

Introducing the new Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions App! Where you can get the latest in BDS news, find events near you, join our campaigns, and get the newest boycott additions straight to your smartphone or tablet!

The app also features a barcode scanner! Just scan any barcode, and find out instantly whether to boycott or buy! Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and Twitter. Join our mailing list for newest in BDS news.

Inspired by the struggle of South Africans against apartheid and in the spirit of international solidarity, moral consistency and resistance to injustice and oppression;

Representatives of Palestinian civil society, call upon international civil society organizations and people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era. We appeal to you to pressure your respective states to impose embargoes and sanctions against Israel. We also invite conscientious Israelis to support this Call, for the sake of justice and genuine peace.

These non-violent punitive measures should be maintained until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law by:

1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall
2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

Help us succeed in our above 3 goals by using AND sharing this app to boycott, divest, and put sanctions on the State of Israel until they comply under international law.

See more at: BDS Movement