Continuing Textile Traditions of the Arab World

April 16th, 2022

Representing cultures spanning millennia and a significant part of the globe, the speakers on Continuing Textile Traditions of the Arab World told us of the richness of Arab culture as shown through its textiles. 

Wafa Ghnaim is a Palestinian-American artist, researcher, writer, educator, and businesswoman who began learning Palestinian embroidery from her mother, award-winning artist Feryal Abbasi-Ghnaim, when she was two years old. The first-ever Palestinian embroidery instructor at the Smithsonian Museum, and collections specialist at the Museum of the Palestinian People, Wafa continues her mother’s educational legacy through Tatreez & Tea.

Textile archaeologist Dr. Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood is the director of the Textile Research Centre, in Leiden, the Netherlands. She is a specialist in Middle Eastern embroidery, textile and dress, and is the author of The Encyclopedia of Embroidery from the Arab World

Dr. Reem El Mutwalli, founder of The Zay Initiative, Lead Curator of the Women’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, is a published author, curator and public speaker. The Zay Initiative is a non-profit, UK registered initiative advancing the preservation of cultural heritage through the collection, documentation and digital archiving of Arab historical attire and their stories. It is the first digital platform focused on regional Arab dress and adornment, with the  goal to empower and sustain global cross-cultural dialogue to inspire creative minds. 

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