The art of embroidery has always been an integral part of Palestinian culture, the distinctive beauty and rich diversity of traditional Palestinian embroideries have been recognized for centuries.
Palestinian embroidery, a painstakingly-produced tradition handed down from generation to generation, is perhaps most recognizable internationally from the iconic black and white Palestinian scarf that has become a fashionable symbol of Palestinian resistance in recent years.
However, the scarf is just one part of the incredibly diverse embroidered clothing handmade in Palestine, something that Palestinian startup Made In Palestine wants to promote. T he young startup has launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to set up a business that allows Palestinian women to sell their handcrafted embroidered products online.
The project aims to popularize this authentic Palestinian tradition in an effort to preserve Palestinian cultural heritage, a heritage the startup says is under threat.
"Israel is trying to smear and remove it (Palestinian heritage) from the Palestinian people to lose one strong evidence of their presence on the land of Palestine for thousands of years," Made in Palestine wrote in its campaign's crowdfunding message. "This embroidery refers to the age of the Canaanites and represents ... the Palestinians and the solidarity ... Also, it shows how they are connected to their land and gives them a glitter of hope to come back to their homeland."
The embroidered products the startup wants to market include dresses, scarves, bags, decorative wooden boxes and pillows, which much like the traditional embroidered Palestinian garments, reflect a diverse range of colors and motifs. The rich diversity of the various motifs, styles and colors of Palestinian embroidery stems from Palestine's strategic position on international trade routes, an advantage which left its cultural life open to various influences throughout its history.
In addition to preserving Palestinian heritage, Made In Palestine wants to create income opportunities for the Palestinian women who are skilled in the traditional art. Through the project, Made In Palestine ultimately hopes to support Palestine's local communities and its youth, which are among those most affected by the country's restricted and ailing economy.