Keeping you informed about Palestinian cultural heritage research, and our work here at the Archive

Keeping you informed about Palestinian cultural heritage research, and our work here at the Archive

Sunday, July 13, 2014

katayef: "a dessert worthy of a fairy-tale"

SBS - source

What a week.  "I am in my mother and father's house now, my friends" posts one of our favorite Palestinian food bloggers, Jessica from Bint Rhoda's Kitchen:
"We are in Western Michigan, enjoying the sweet, cool breezes. Our days are filled with summery bliss, with sailing and swimming, with late morning cups of coffee and mounds of my mother's incredible food... But our nights are spent in Palestine. 
"After the children are finally asleep ... we go home. We scroll through the headlines, the news feeds. We jump from news sources to first-hand accounts from our friends, posting updates from our old neighborhoods. It's a strange thing, you know, when your old hometown becomes a war zone. Your friends from home, from your old neighborhood, start posting on their social media pages things that you wish you had never seen. But we cannot look away...."
We feel much the same here in Australia, totally overwhelmed by recent events, no way to help, so worried for friends.  All we can do is pray and remember that we are not without a voice, however small, and that we are not without a role - our job here is to keep Palestinian culture alive. Which we are doing in this post - we need something totally frivolous to take our minds of things.

This post came about because some Archive friends and staff wrote to us about katayef.  In our recent review of Zar Bakery and Cafe in Canberra we wrote:
"one of the reasons we'd come to Zar Cafe that particular day was that Sam had posted on Facebook on June 25 about making katayef for Ramadan. Katayef is a favorite sweet of ours. It's totally over the top. Wiki observes on their Palestinian cuisine page:
"A common Palestinian dessert reserved only for Ramadan is qatayef, which could be provided by the numerous street vendors in several major Palestinian cities or towns as well as typical Palestinian households.  
"Qatayef is the general name of the dessert as a whole, but more specifically, the name of the batter that acts as a base. The result of the batter being poured into a round hot plate appears similar to pancakes, except only one side is cooked, then folded. The pastry is filled with either unsalted goat cheese or ground walnuts and cinnamon. It is then baked and served with a hot sugar-water syrup or sometimes honey"
"We especially love the version made with a crushed walnut, cinnamon rose water and ashta cream filling, either fried or baked, then served drenched in hot orange water scented sugar syrup (Claudia Roden's recipe here).  See why we say it's over the top?  
We'd not had it for a long time.  It's really only served at Ramadan and we'd not been in the right place or the right time for it.  But today we were lucky. While Sam didn't have any ready to eat, as it was a few days still to Ramadan, he very very generously gave us a few pancakes and some advice for how to put everything together - thank you Sam :) 
We assembled Sam's pancakes with our favorite crushed walnut, cinnamon rose water and ashta cream filling, baked them as Sam suggested, then served them with orange water scented sugar syrup to Archive volunteers and visitors for afternoon tea or to take some home for Iftar.  We didn't take any photos - we're sorry about that, but they proved too delicious to stay on a plate long.

Word then got around to other staff and volunteers not here that day. We ended up promising to make some more very soon, and to post some recipes of the staff blog.  Which we are doing now - you'll find several good recipes in the links at the end of this post. We also highly recommend Archive staff and friends in Canberra head over to Zar Bakery and Cafe to try Sam's version.

Completely by chance, another favorite food blogger, Dubai based Arva from I Live In A Frying Pan posted about katayef this week.  Not only that, we think Arva came up with the best ever description of katayef.  Arva was writing about experiencing Ramadan in Dubai in this post, which was titled "Stepping into a Palestinian-Jordanian home for Iftar":
"Ramadan is that holy time when we take a small step closer to the lives of those who are less fortunate. We experience their hunger, their fatigue, their daily struggle for the things we take for granted. And in turn, we channel that empathy into prayers, zakat (alms) and acts of feeding the poor. 
"Dubai has monetized Ramadan. We – ‘we’ as businesses and ‘we’ as consumers – have reduced Ramadan to a series of shopping deals and buffet extravaganzas that are a far cry from the humble, restrained spirit of the month. I laugh every time a radio ad for a five-star restaurant 'Iftar tent' closes with the profound words: Embrace the spirit of Ramadan, likely written by someone whose only experience of the holy month was behind a ludicrously over-stocked buffet table. 
"Just when I’d given up all hope of having an authentic Iftar experience in the city, I receive an invite from Maysa Meqdadi, the Palestinian-Jordanian mother of two living in Mirdiff and running home-based cooking lessons under a brand that shows she means business: Let's Talk Food Dubai ..."
Arva had a wonderful evening at Maysa Meqdadi's home, both preparing and sharing the meal.  Towards the end of the post Arva gives this glorious description:
"Our evening draws to a close with cups of cardamom-infused Arabic coffee, digestive sage tea and a dessert worthy of a fairy-tale – baby pancakes (ataif asafoori) pinched into cones, ladled with our ethereally light, homemade clotted cream, rolled in pistachios, garnished with orange blossom petals or dotted with Damascus rose buds. And drizzled with our homemade sugar syrup."
Ms Meqdadi also creates her family's preferred versions:
"Not averse to a few fun departures from tradition, Maysa creates the Nutella-stuffed ataif that her sons love. And two ataifs down, I end up becoming a Nutella slave as well."
 "A dessert worthy of a fairy-tale". Really, we can't top that description. It's absolutely perfect.

To continue our theme of Palestinian food we're going to publish another post soon about diaspora / contemporary versions of traditional Palestinian dishes.  Until then, why not head to Arva's blog to have a read and check out her stunning photos of Maysa Meqdadi's katayef.  We can only hope Archive friends and staff are lucky enough to be enjoying similar evenings during Ramadan wherever you all are in the world :)

More Info:
(we're adding katayef posts as we find them :)
Recipes:
For more Palestinian / Middle East bloggers see the list in the far right column on our blog's home page.

Thank you to you all for giving us lovely posts this week to take our mind off things.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Zar Bakery + Cafe, Canberra


When the Palestine Costume Archive first started, in the early 1980s, if you wanted a Palestinian meal anywhere in the Palestinian diaspora you went to family or friends' homes.  But wonderfully these days Palestinian cafes and restaurants are springing up all over the diaspora. Archive friends and volunteers regularly ask about them, so we thought we might review some of our favorites.

Canberra, Australia

This is Sam.  Here at the Palestine Costume Archive in Canberra we're very fond of Sam. He's holding our latest favorite food, but you're not going to hear about this particular dish until a later post :)


Remember, we recently posted a review of Tatreez Cafe in London? We've been feeling so jealous of Archive friends and Education Officers based in London because they can hang out at Tatreez. Well we are jealous no more. Because we've got Sam.  

Sam is the owner / chef of Zar Bakery and Cafe


Which has just opened in Canberra. Which means there is now a Palestinian cafe in Canberra. The Archive was set up here over thirty years ago and we've never had a Palestinian cafe in Canberra. But now we do :)


It's in the shopping centre in Mawson, where it fits right in with all the multicultural stores and restaurants. This is this nice pedestrian area just outside.


It will make outside seating very pleasant in summer, even if it's a bit brisk right now.


So what can we tell you about Zar Bakery and Cafe. Let's talk about what it looks like first, and then we'll talk about the food.

One of the reasons we enjoyed reviewing Tatreez Cafe was because, apart from being a wonderful place for Palestinian food, it's also interesting for us as a museum dedicated to documenting contemporary Palestinian culture, to look at in terms of it's design construction. We posed the question in that post:
"because Tatreez Cafe is a designed space, specifically created to evoke pre 1948 Palestinian culture and landscape within a 21st century urban environment... does it succeed?"
We all agreed it did:
"It mixes the modern industrial world (brick walls, burnished metal panels, metal air ducts, etc) with echoes of older traditions (wooden tables and chairs, handwritten blackboard menu, while components like the form and colour of the huge pizza oven the shape of the vertical decorative wooden panels and the earth coloured tiled floor as well as these cotton table decorations evokes the Palestinian village landscape"
In Zar Bakery and Cafe's case, Sam and his team may not have had Relic Interiors London on hand, but they've achieved a very nice look on their own. The cafe and it's signage / logo etc have utilized a (dark and light = earthy / nature / natural) brown, black and white colour scheme which is echoed in it's logo and state of the art business cards:



As with Tatreez there is an interesting juxtaposition between industrial and rustic components, albeit a more subtle one. Zar Cafe's interior is welcoming, the kitchen areas spotless and gleaming,


more like a modern day Ramallah bakery / restaurant kitchen (Sam is from Ramallah).   Sam might admire the beautifully styled oven that we love at Tatreez Cafe, but then again he might not - Zar's kitchen is well set out for making Palestinian breads, and Sam has a good working area right near his multiple ovens.



However in some of the public areas Zar has gone for a more rustic look, with one section featuring nicely textured wooden paneled wall, a long wooden bench top


and wooden bar stools with an antique walnut finish topped with woven rush leaves seat:


The cafe's logo has been hand painted on a panel on the wooden wall,


the hand painted element giving the whole panel a lovely texture:


The same logo appears on candles


and the menu, which adds orange to the colour range:


At first glance you could almost be anywhere in the Middle East with this cafe, but when you check out the menu you are definately looking at Palestinian dishes.


And then of course there is Sam himself, who's as Palestinian as they come :)


Sam creates both the classics and new versions of them. Here's Sam making manakeesh with za'atar, a very popular Palestinian breakfast dish, although it can be eaten any time.

In Canberra we've been used to substituting store-bought pita bread for proper Palestinian bread, and that's a terrible thing. If you've ever tasted home made Palestinian bread you'll understand why. Wiki outlines the different traditional types of bread on their Palestinian cuisine page:
"Palestinians bake a variety of different kinds of breads: they include khubz, pita and markook and taboon. Khubz is an everyday bread and is very similar to pita. It often takes the place of utensils; It is torn into bite size pieces and used to scoop various dips such as hummus or ful. Markook bread is a paper-thin unleavened bread and when unfolded it is almost transparent. Taboon receives its name from the ovens used to bake them."
But none of this gives you any idea at all of how Palestinian breads taste and smell and feel.  Now Sam is here we can finally access real Palestinian bread - even better we can watch him make it.

Here's Sam pressing the dough into a flat bread shape, making little indentations with his fingertips:


As Wiki points out the word manakeesh:
"is the plural of the Arabic word manqūshah (from the root verb naqasha 'to sculpt, carve out'), meaning that after the dough has been rolled flat, it is pressed by the fingertips to create little dips for the topping to lie in."
Wiki continues:
"Traditionally, Levantine women would bake dough in a communal oven in the morning, to provide their family with their daily bread needs, and would prepare smaller portions of dough with different toppings for breakfast at this time. "
This (either late 19th or early 20th century) photo from the American Colony Collection shows a woman probably from the Jerusalem region, waiting to pick up her bread from her local village oven taboun:

source

Manakeesh followed Palestinians into the diaspora.  Back to Wiki:
"Manakish is popular in most Levantine countries as well as Australia, especially in the major urban centres of Melbourne and Sydney where many Lebanese have settled. In these cities, bakeries selling Manakish are common in predominantly Lebanese areas, often called "Lebanese Pizzas".
Well some of us called them Palestinian pizzas, but you get the idea. Their topping can be everything from cheese to meat to herbs.  We've ordered it with the most classic: za'atar


Let's go back to Wiki:
"Za'atar (Arabic: زَعْتَر‎ za‘tar, also romanized zaatar, za'tar, zatar, zatr, zattr, zahatar, zaktar or satar) is a generic name for a family of related Middle Eastern herbs from the genera Origanum (oregano), Calamintha (basil thyme), Thymus (typically Thymus vulgaris, i.e., thyme), and Satureja (savory). 
"The name za'atar alone most properly applies to Origanum syriacum. It is also the name for a condiment made from the dried herb(s), mixed with sesame seeds, dried sumac, and often salt, as well as other spices. Used in Arab cuisine, both the herb and spice mixture are popular throughout the Middle East."
 

Wiki also notes:
"Za'atar has historical significance for Palestinians, some of whom see the presence of za'atar as the signifier of a Palestinian household.  For Palestinian refugees, plants and foods such as za'atar also serve as signifiers of the house, village, and region from which they hailed"
Za'atar is traditionally dried in the sun and mixed with salt, sesame seeds and sumac. There are several Palestinian fair trade businesses producing wonderful za'atar, we're going to be posting in more detail about these soon.


We often serve za'atar with pita bread - you did the bread into olive oil and then into the za'atar.  However Sam is using it in a slightly different form. Wiki says:
"when the dried herb is moistened with olive oil, the spread is known as za'atar-wu-zayt or zeit ou za'atar (zeit or zayt, meaning "oil" in Arabic) ... This mixture spread on a dough base and baked as a bread, produces manakeesh bi zaatar"


The flat bread goes into the oven and is baked until lightly browned and crisp.


They don't take long - here's Sam checking on other items he's just made:


You can either serve them warm right away or else cool them - the za'atar ones are nice at room temperature.  In fact Sam's now selling small versions ready packed to take away. Here's Sam serving our flat breads straight out of the oven:


As we said above we are going to make a separate post about the second dish Sam served us. Today let's concentrate on the manakeesh bil zaatar.


It was so good that a week later we are still dreaming of it.


Look at the olive oil and herbs seeping into the lovely chewy bread:


Folding the flat bread over makes a very tasty sandwich:


Zar Bakery and Cafe is of course also a bakery so we are looking forward to their making lots of sweet things.  Speaking of sweet, one of the reasons we'd come to Zar Cafe that particular day was that Sam had posted on Facebook on June 25 about making katayef for Ramadan. Katayef is a favorite sweet of ours. It's totally over the top. Wiki observes on their Palestinian cuisine page:
"A common Palestinian dessert reserved only for Ramadan is qatayef, which could be provided by the numerous street vendors in several major Palestinian cities or towns as well as typical Palestinian households. 
"Qatayef is the general name of the dessert as a whole, but more specifically, the name of the batter that acts as a base. The result of the batter being poured into a round hot plate appears similar to pancakes, except only one side is cooked, then folded. The pastry is filled with either unsalted goat cheese or ground walnuts and cinnamon. It is then baked and served with a hot sugar-water syrup or sometimes honey"
We especially love the version made with a crushed walnut, cinnamon rose water and ashta cream filling, either fried or baked, then served drenched in hot orange water scented sugar syrup (Claudia Roden's recipe here).  See why we say it's over the top? 

We'd not had it for a long time.  It's really only served at Ramadan and we'd not been in the right place or the right time for it.  But today we were lucky. While Sam didn't have any ready to eat, as it was a few days still to Ramadan, he very very generously gave us a few pancakes and some advice for how to put everything together - thank you Sam :)


We were consoled by the other lovely sweet things on offer that day, nicely packed up in amounts you could take away.


These included harissa Palestinian style almond and semolina cakes


which were lovely and moist and not too sweet (you'll find a similar recipe here)


and baklava:


Many people think that baklava is Turkish or Greek in origin. And these countries certainly make the sweet very well. But the name itself gives it away - baklava comes from two Arabic words: baql (nuts) + halawa (sweet).  Sam's version was exquisitely spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon and honey, the philo dough was still crunchy and


the bite size pieces were perfect.


Even our dog wanted to try them.


For readers with dogs, this is a very pet friendly cafe - our border collie was welcomed by all the staff. Note Sam is being very professional about not touching her when he's saying hello, while he's working in a kitchen:


On their Palestinian cuisine page Wiki writes:
"Two hot beverages that Palestinians consume is coffee — served in the morning and throughout the day — and tea which is often sipped in the evening. Tea is usually flavored with na'ana (mint) or maramiyyeh (sage). The coffee of choice is usually Turkish or Arabic coffee. Arabic coffee is similar to Turkish coffee, but the former is spiced with cardamom and is usually unsweetened."
We can confirm that the coffee served at Zar Bakery and Cafe is perfect:


Sam will also make maramiyyeh tea for those who ask for it.  He had some dried sage from Jordan, so we added to his stockpile by leaving him some Al'Ard dried sage as a thank you for our lovely meal:



We also talked with Sam about the possibility of Zar Bakery and Cafe stocking Palestinian fair trade products like Al'Ard and Canaan Fair Trade, and put him in touch with Jennifer from Leichhardt Friends of Hebron, from whom we purchased these products last weekend.


The lunch time trade was picking up and Sam was getting very busy. It was time to head back to the Archive and catalogue and store away the latest gifts and newest acquisitions for the Archive's costume collection and Research Library. Here we are carrying all our lovely sweets away:


We also send a review to Trip Advisor trying to get the cafe listed, although of course we had to say it was a Lebanese cafe as Trip Advisor does not recognize "Palestinian cuisine".


5 stars from us :)

More Info:

Monday, June 23, 2014

Leichhardt Friends of Hebron Festival, Sydney


Several Archive staff and volunteers met up at Leichhardt Friends of Hebron's event last Saturday at Leichhardt Town Hall:


At the Archive we sincerely respect the work Leichhardt Friends of Hebron are doing. Here's some info from their website:
"Leichhardt is a suburb in the Inner West of Sydney, Australia. In 2007 a group of concerned people formed the group Leichhardt Friends of Hebron to build partnerships with local NGOs in the West Bank of the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and assist with project support for the people of Hebron and the south Hebron hills. 
"The Friends of Hebron aim to:
  • Work in Leichhardt to promote human rights as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and subsequent United Nations conventions and declarations and respect for international law in the occupied Palestinian lands;
  • Work in Leichhardt to raise awareness of human rights and humanitarian issues relevant to the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands;
  • Raise money for vital community projects in the city of Hebron and surrounding areas;
  • To work with other municipalities in Australia in building relationships and partnerships with Palestinian communities; and
  • Establish a sister city relationship between the Leichhardt Municipal Council and the City of Hebron in the occupied Palestinian lands.
"Friends of Hebron welcomes new members. Membership is open to all residents of Leichhardt, the Inner West and wider Sydney community who support the aims stated above. Contact Leichhardt Friends of Hebron at hebronleichhardt@gmail.com"

For several years now Leichhardt Friends of Hebron has held a Palestinian festival during Refugee Week. This year the festival was held on Saturday 21st June, 2014:

"our fantastic plans for the day include the exhibition,  our ceramics and stalls, our forum, our film, our food and more…. This will be another great event, drawing attention to the world’s longest standing refugee situation and one of the most unjust.  After 66 years Palestinian refugees are still unable to return to their homes. 
"All money raised will, as always, go to support our kindergarten projects  at Umm al Khair, at Khashem al Daraj and especially, Tel Rumeida, as well as our newly identified project in the community of Dkaika, in the Southern tip of the West Bank."
We arrived just after 2pm, and the town hall was bustling:





We greeted other friends and event organizers, and made lots of new friends, especially over discussions of Palestinian embroidery - from the Women In Hebron Group and one of the Bethlehem groups - and Palestinian fair trade products, about which we'll put up another post soon.




Being a fundraiser we wanted to spend as much money as we could, so we had fun wandering around the stalls purchasing Palestinian sweets, zaatar, olive oil soaps, books, posters and raffle tickets:


We also did some real work, purchasing two books for  the Palestine Costume Archive's Research Library and two more kaffiyas from the Herbawi factory in Hebron for the Archive's costume collection:



We spent lots of time in the photographic exhibition "Families Interrupted":


"Through a series of anonymous portraits, this exhibition captures the reality of the many thousands of Palestinian families who are forced to live in the shadows by the Israeli Citizenship Law. By lifting the thin veil of anonymity that envelops them, the images give insights into how the ban turns them into families interrupted, struggling to lead a normal life together. By photographing them in their personal spaces, it offers glimpses of their day-to-day human existence as families."

We'll post more about the exhibition in a later post - apart from being a good exhibition the organizers did a great job installing it on a non existent budget and not even a power point! - but for now here's some info via the exhibition about that law:
"The Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (2003) bans family unification where one spouse is an Israeli citizen (in practice almost all of whom are Palestinian citizens) and the other a resident of the OPT (excluding Jewish settler living in the OPT). 
 

"Minor exceptions to the ban were introduced in 2005 allowing the Interior Ministry to make special exceptions to the ban, including in cases where the husband is over 35 years of age or the wife over 25, in special medical or work cases, and for children under the age of 14 to live with the parent inside Israle. An additional amendment in 2007 expanded the ban to include citizens and residents of Iran, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. In accordance with the law, a cabinet decision added further restrictions in 2008 affecting residents of the Gaza Strip.
 
"Although the law was originally enacted as a temporary order, its validity has been repeatedly extended by the Knesset making it in effect a permanent law. Thousands of Palestinian families have been affected by the law, forced to split apart, move abroad or live in Israel in fear of constant deportation."


By now it was time for the forum “Restoring hope through international law – is the right of return for Palestinian refugees necessary for peace?”:

"Our speakers will discuss the sometimes controversial, internationally recognized right of refugees to return to areas from which they have fled or been forced to leave. Should refugees be compensated  for what they have lost? Should they be allowed to return home? Should they be allowed to repossess their properties or should they instead receive compensation and support for resettlement? What if their homes are gone? Have been demolished to make way for an airport? Refugee rights derive from a number of legal sources, including customary international law, international humanitarian law (governing rights of civilians during war), and human rights law"

 The speakers were Samah Sabawi and Dr Marcelo Svirsky:
"Samah Sabawi is an Australian-Palestinian writer, playwright an political analyst with years of experience and special expertise in human rights. Samah was born in Palestine but her family was displaced as a result of Israel’s occupation of the Gaza Strip in 1967. She lived with her family in a refugee camp, moved into the Arabian Gulf and later migrated to Australia. She still has family living under Israeli siege in Gaza. Her work reflects her passion about her heritage and her desire for a peaceful resolution that is based on justice and respect of human rights for all.  
 
"She is a policy advisor to the Palestinian policy network AlShabaka and has formerly served as executive director and media spokesperson for the National Council on Canada Arab Relations (NCCAR) and as public advocate for Australians for Palestine. 
 
"Dr Marcelo Svirsky is a political scientist who works at the School of History and Politics, University of Wollongong, where he  teaches subjects in International Studies.  He grew up in Argentina but moved to Israel where he completed his education at Technion and Haifa Universities. As an activist, Marcelo has long been involved  in the Palestinian struggle for peace with justice. Later this year, Marcelo will walk from Sydney to the Federal Parliament in Canberra to raise awareness about Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, (BDS), in Australia.  
"His research interests are primarily invested on theories and the practice of political activism, revolutionary action, and social transformation. His current research and works in progress include a special issue of the journal Settler Colonial Studies and ‘The Ecology of Interculturalism in Israel’
It was good to have the opportunity to listen to Samah again - we'd last encountered her at the Human Rights in Palestine that we attended at the Australian National University in Canberra last year.

Afterwards we sat up the front to watch the Palestinian fashion parade.


The Palestine Costume Archive's Education Officers often lend a hand with events like this worldwide. They are usually either run by Palestinian diaspora communities or by activist groups who borrow a few garments from their local Palestinian community.  Sometimes we are asked to help with the whole thing, in which case we usually put up one of our small traveling educational displays about Palestinian costume and embroidery at the event. We then also arrange with the local community for a few families to bring some treasured embroidered items in to be included in the fashion parade, which we help identify and provide historical background on.

In the case of last Saturday we were just there with and as friends and not taking part.  But in just being part of the audience we were also fulfilling our role of observing and documenting what cultural knowledge remains in Palestinian diaspora communities. We were looking forward to seeing what type of embroidered garments would be thought important to include by the local community, and what might be said about each garment.

When we'd ask for information about the fashion parade, Leichhardt Friends of Hebron organizers had told us the owner of the dresses loaned for the fashion parade lived in Sydney, but was very unwell and unable to attend.  Which was probably why the text read out during the fashion parade was a bit disjointed and there was no descriptive information at all about the actual dresses on the stage (for example, the only pattern mentioned was the saru, but not a single dress on the stage contained it).

But being a bit short on specific costume details didn't stop the resulting event from being a lot of fun. Kudos to everyone involved, from the MCs


to Samah


to the last minute models (both Palestinian and the many non Palestinians)







and especially Jamal Elayan (who not only burst into song but started the dabke)


 what an amazing half hour we all had, both on the stage and in the audience. What came across is the tremendous love Palestinians have for their culture, in all it's forms. We're so glad we took this short video - watch it and you'll see what we mean :)

video

We had to leave before the final film of the event, but just wanted to take this opportunity to thank Leichhardt Friends of Hebron for such a wonderful day.  We understand how much this event takes to organize.  We truly do, and we stand amazed by what you've achieved with it over the years.  Keep up the great work in Hebron. And thank you :)



PS:  for Archive staff and Educational Officers:


Here's a quick test: if you had been asked up on the stage at the last minute and these Palestinian garments were presented, what would you have told the audience about them?  We're looking for:
  • estimate of date 
  • pre 48 village region / post 48 country / refugee camp / embroidery co-op
  • fabrics and embroidery thread id
  • patterns
Drop us a line at the usual email address and we'll add in the right details as they come in :)

Some responses now in:

Okay 13 of you have responded so far so we can update the photos below.

  • 10 points to those of you who replied that you can't confirm date / age of garment / fabrics etc without examining the garments.
  • 10 points for everyone who thought all the garments were post 1948 except possibly number 1, but noted you can't confirm it's date without examining the garment
1) This one was too easy lol. 10 points to everyone who identified the dress Samah Sabawi chose to wear as a classic "six branch" style.


10 points to everyone who identified this garment as "Ramallah" style
10 points to everyone who identified the base fabric as (if pre1948) "probably black / indigo linen" or if post 48, "possibly rayon or synthetic".
10 points to everyone who identified the embroidery stitch as cross stitch
10 points for identifying the type of thread as "probably cotton".
10 points to everyone who identified the central motif as a "branches of birds" variation.

2) 10 points to everyone who identified this garment as "shawal" style


10 points to everyone who thought the fabric is "possibly velvet" but you can't confirm base fabric without sighting / examining the dress.
10 points to everyone who identified the embroidery as cross stitch and couching, and the
10 points to everyone who noted the type of thread as "probably cotton".
10 points to everyone who identified the motifs as "modern interpretations" - with the exception of the very top of the qabbeh we can't identify any motifs.

3)  10 points to everyone who identified this garment as "shawal" style


10 points to everyone who identified the embroidery as cross stitch.
10 points to everyone who identified the motifs as "modern interpretations" - we can't identify any motifs.

4)  10 points to everyone who identified this garment as "interesting" lol.


10 points to everyone who identified this garment as "a flag dress" style - we don't think it actually is, but it was a great guess. By linking with this topic you could have raised the subject of political textiles

5 6 7 (on the right side of the photo):



5: 
10 points to everyone who identified this garment as "shawal" style. 
10 points to everyone who identified the base fabric as "probably black linen".
10 points to everyone who identified this garment as "probably 1980s".
10 points to everyone who identified the embroidery as cross stitch.
Extra 10 points to everyone who expanded their identification to discuss how multicoloured shaded threads were popular in the 1970s and early 1980s
10 points to everyone who remembered to mention that these dresses originally had an accompanying triangular embroidered scarf.

6: 
10 points to everyone who identified this garment as a style popular in refugee camps in Jordan in the 1980s.
10 points to everyone who identified the base fabric as "probably synthetic or rayon".
10 points to everyone who identified the embroidery as cross stitch.
10 points if you noted the type of thread as "probably cotton".
10 points to everyone who identified the motifs as floral designs that originally date from the 1940s
Extra 10 points if you remembered there is a very similar one in the Archive's collection.

7: 
10 points to everyone who identified this garment as "Bethlehem" style
Extra 10 points to everyone who went further in their id and explained a bit about the "malak"style
10 points to everyone who identified the base fabrics as "post 48 versions of Bethlehem fabrics ... possibly synthetic velvet".
10 points to everyone who identified the embroidery stitch as couching.
10 points if you noted the type of thread as "possibly cotton and lurex".

Get back to us to confirm your total :)


More Info: