Embroidery takes me from a miserable reality to a magic world. —Samar
Embroidery plays a central role in these women’s lives, providing not only income but also an opportunity to meet and share their experiences and to perpetuate Palestinian culture. MECA purchases embroidery from the Sulafa Embroidery Center for our annual Palestinian Crafts Holiday Bazaar in Berkeley, California and online store. 400 women living in refugee camps in Gaza embroider for Sulafa. The center provide vital supplementary income to families and also gives women some financial independence.
Traditional cross-stitch or tatriz is still learned at home, taught by older generations, passed from mother to daughter. The sewing of cross-stitch is relatively simple, however making a large patterned item in this fashion takes perseverance, skill, and accuracy, and takes years to perfect.
Location: Gaza Strip, Palestine
In July 2014, Israel began its third major attack on Gaza within seven years with intense Israeli aerial and navy bombardment. The scale of human loss, destruction, devastation and displacement was catastrophic. More than 2,000 Palestinians were killed, including over 500 children. Many more suffered physical and psychological injuries.