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December 8 2021 1:04 PM ˚
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Palestinian cultural exhibition showcases traditional items, food

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A photo collection of items from the Palestinian Culture Center’s 11th annual exhibition celebrating Palestinian culture. (Photos: Haya Najdawi/Jordan News)
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AMMAN — The Palestinian Culture Center kicked off its 11th annual exhibition under the name, “Guardians of Palestinian Culture” on Thursday in cooperation with the Palestinian Embassy in Amman.اضافة اعلان

The exhibition lasted for three days over the weekend, showcasing a variety of handmade Palestinian goods, like ceramics, embroideries, clothes, books, and even national dishes.

It was also held in cooperation with the Association of Jordanian Construction Contractors.



Members of the Palestinian Culture Center pose for a photo at the center’s exhibition over the weekend. (Photo: Haya Najdawi/Jordan News)

President of the Palestinian Culture Center, Mariam Jaber, spoke about the exhibition, saying that “it aims to preserve Palestinian national identity by adapting it harmoniously to this century’s demands.” 

“We were looking forward to the exhibit this year, once the government gave permissions to hold exhibits and events we started planning it, of course we are being careful and taking all the safety measurements necessary,” Jaber told Jordan News in an interview. 

“This exhibit is for everyone that is working towards keeping Palestinian heritage alive, especially women, as you can see our products here are mostly handmade by women from the center,” Jaber explained. 

“They get paid for their work, so they can support themselves and their families. I think it is very empowering to those ladies.” 

According to the president, the main goal of the event is to keep the Palestinian “heritage alive and relevant,” and to protect an “essential part of our identity.”

When you first walk into the exhibition you will also find some of the newest books about Palestine being sold in the far-right corner; the books vary among Arab and Palestinian authors as well as foreign authors writing about the Palestinian cause. 


A photo collection of items from the Palestinian Culture Center’s 11th annual exhibition celebrating Palestinian culture. (Photos: Haya Najdawi/Jordan News)

“We have all sorts of books, different genres as well, whether political or educational, cultural or even historical, we also have books about architecture and children stories from the author Taghreed Al-Najar,” said Lubna Budairi, who was supervising the books corner. 

“This year we also have coloring books for adults that are themed around patterns used in embroidery,” she said. 

Next to it on the left they had handmade and embroidered items of varied shapes and sizes stemming from the varied patterns used in different Palestinian towns.

“Sometimes the patterns on the embroideries also describe the feelings and emotions the women sewing them are feeling,” Jaber explained. 

She pointed to one of the pieces that was made during the Palestinian intifada, with a flower at the top of the piece with prison bars in the middle of it. 
“The lady who made this particular piece had a son who was a prisoner in Israeli jails, so when the intifada started, she filled in the flower with prison bars for her son,” Jaber said. 


A photo collection of items from the Palestinian Culture Center’s 11th annual exhibition celebrating Palestinian culture. (Photos: Haya Najdawi/Jordan News)

The exhibition’s food section also showcased traditional Palestinian dishes, like baked goods with zaatar, safiha from Jaffa, musakhan, maftoul, stuffed vine leaves, cakes and sweets, as well as different pickles and spicy sauces. 
“We make these dishes with the finest products at the center all year around, our kitchen gets food orders all of the time, some of the employed ladies cannot cook for their families daily so they depend on us to cook for them,” said Ghada Al-Daqaq, who was working at the food corner. 

“All the flavors here remind us of our grandparents,” Jaber said.
Porcelain and ceramics sold at the exhibit were all imported from factories in Hebron, “We try our best to help out our families in Hebron; there are no tourists in the Palestinian side in Hebron; eight ceramic factories had to close down, except for one so we import their crafts and sell them here to support them,” said Suzan Al-Ashi, who was working in the ceramics corner. 


A photo collection of items from the Palestinian Culture Center’s 11th annual exhibition celebrating Palestinian culture. (Photos: Haya Najdawi/Jordan News)

“The ceramics and porcelain are special, with a dark blue color making them recognizable, the patterns on them are all related to the land, flowers, and plants in Palestine, you can use the pieces in the microwave oven or the dishwasher; they won’t get ruined,” she added.

Another section at the exhibit titled “media materials” displayed traditional Palestinian symbols, like the Palestinian keffiyeh, alongside the old Palestinian currency, and Palestinian maps on medals, bracelets, and necklaces. 

“Most of the accessories are handmade at the center. The keffiyeh bracelets and the embroidery on the keffiyeh itself, alongside hand bags and backpacks that are made using the keffiyeh, we also have calendars that are Palestinian themed,” said Haifa Al-Khatib, who was working the section. 

What made most of the pieces sold in the exhibit stand out, other than the fact that they were all handmade, is how every piece was traditional, yet had a modern twist. 

“We always try to make new and modern stuff that we can use in our everyday lives, for other purposes than to just decorate. For example, we have prayer mats and clothes, small covers for water bottles, and bread covers too; those were very popular today,” said Huda Al-Sharif who was also working at the booth. 

“We have bookmarks that are sewn by hand. We also have cards that are embroidered and you can order them for weddings or events, you know people usually get rid of such cards but these are very elegant and nice to keep,” said another worker, Samah Ahmad Ali.

That was also the case at the wooden crafts section, where wooden boxes in different sizes and shapes and with different patterns were displayed. “You can use these boxes to store jewelry or sweets, tea bags and coffee, even if you wanted to leave it empty and just display the box you can; and it will look lovely, same goes for the frames,” said Rajaa Abu-Zarour, who was running the wooden crafts section. 


A photo collection of items from the Palestinian Culture Center’s 11th annual exhibition celebrating Palestinian culture. (Photos: Haya Najdawi/Jordan News)

“For the wooden trays, all of us love to show off our skills in embroidery and knitting and kind of compete with each other when we make them to see which one of us has the best one at the end,” she added laughing. 
In addition to the donations the center gets, all the proceeds from the exhibit go to benefiting Palestinians inside Palestine.

“We take care of Palestinian families or university students with high grades; we help them with their tuition expenses, and we contribute to many health projects for those who cannot afford to pay. For example, we buy wheelchairs and medicine for those in need,” said Jaber.


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