2 Palestinian refugees supported by Al Badia
LEBANON | 2019
SECTION OF DRESS: Traditional Cross Stitch
One of the first commissions on the dress, that impacted the project deeply.
Text written by Kirstie Macleod
There are 2 beautifully embroidered shoulder pieces on the dress, created in Lebanon in 2009 by 2 female refugees supported by Al Badia, a Najdeh Association program and commercial outlet enabling Palestinian refugees to earn a small income by stitching traditional embroidery.
Al Badia's products are an important source of income for women in the refugee camps who work either at home or at workshops set up as part of the Nejdeh embroidery project. Al Badia offers a range of articles including cushion covers, table covers, napkins, wall hangings, bags and purses, scarves and shawls, skirts, blouses, vest and waistcoats for men, abayas and traditional Palestinian dresses (see link below).
It was one of the first commissions on the dress, and communication (over email) was quite difficult. The work was sent quickly but sadly after 11 years I am yet to learn the names of the 2 ladies who embroidered the panels, and understand more about the motifs in the embroidery they created. I do however have a photograph of the women and am hopeful that one day I will be able to properly credit and collaborate with them.
Here is an excerpt from a beautifully written article ‘Stitching a Homeland: Palestinians find refuge embroidering for al-Badia’ by Stephanie Saldana for the Daily Star Lebanon, that explains a little of how important and significant embroidery is within the Palestinian culture.
“….Though these women may never see Palestine, to embroider is to understand that in the world of cloth, and perhaps in reality, Ramallah and Hebron have different cyprus trees, Bethlehem and Jerusalem have different roses. Even the “gates of heaven,” a traditional Palestinian stitch, rise differently depending on your origins….”
See the full article here: https://www.dailystar.com.lb/Culture/Art/2001/Dec-14/100629-stitching-a-homeland-palestinians-find-refuge-embroidering-for-al-badia.ashx
For more info, to buy products or to arrange commissions please the website: https://almashriq.hiof.no/lebanon/300/360/362/najdeh/albadia/