The traditional Palestinian costume is an integral part of the Palestinian identity. It is a form of documenting the Palestinian historic existence on the land. This garment represents the Palestinians' attachment to their occupied homes. Most Palestinian women – within and without the territories wear embroidered items to represent their heritage and identity. These masterpieces older women stitch with their own hands become paintings that might take up to several months to be completed. The inscriptions symbolize health, hope, prosperity, peace and much more. Embroidery varies from one region to another, for each region is usually known for a specific signature design or color.
When I was a young girl I never knew how to perfect the Palestinian x-shaped stitch. I would come to my older sister and ask her for help. But now as I reflect on it many years later, I feel a special appreciation for this unique style. It represents my original home and my identity.
When I came here to the US, I found myself seeking Palestinian embroidered items as if to redirect my search of my true home – that’s when this shawl came along. Now, the more items I collect, the heavier the burden of keeping this original style of embroidery feels. I can only hope future generations continue the legacy not to ever lose an image of home at their own small, far-away homes.
– Razan Oueis