Visiting Tiraz Center in Amman: on the amazing cultural heritage of Palestinians

Visiting Tiraz Center and being surrounded by the Palestinian cultural heritage on display was a fantastic experience! Since October 7, they have a special display for Gaza that teaches about the traditional majdalawi fabric, hand woven in the Majdal area of historic Gaza district (not the Gaza Strip that was created in 1948 in the wake of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine). Did you know there were 500 wooden looms for weaving fabric in Majdal?! 

Palestinians are always repeating the famous lines for Rafeef Ziadeh's poem "We Teach Life Sir!" and I can't imagine life exemplified in a dress more so than in the vibrant colors of the Gazan thoab, traditional dresses. 

All the dresses on display were dated to at least a hundred years ago and labeled by region or city. They were used to illustrate traditional motifs and styles from each area, like this Ramallah thob below in red and white. 

One of the most fantastic aspects to me, was to see the traditional fabrics used to embroider upon. Particularly in Hebron, women patched together different fabrics including denim, majdalawi, saya, and linen. 

Hebron particularly was known for having very dense tatreez, wheras in the north of Galilee and Safad, women lightly embroidered their dresses and used Syrian jackets over their clothes. Every region was distinct, though over time as women gathered in markets to trade or with the introduction of cars and greater-distance-traveled, women increasingly mixed their motifs and styles. 

In addition to all the information on display, they had this amazing corner with a Syrian fabric shop display. There were artifacts, coffee grinder, jewelry, headpieces and a wonderful library collection. 


I encourage everyone to visit. The staff member said that they had a rich collection and only a small percentage of their collection was actually on display. The pieces were truly magnificent! And of course it was wonderful to buy and take home my own copy of Threads of Identify. I hear they have a virtual tour so if you can't make it to Amman, get on to their website here

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