Last month, Amman welcomed a new center to it’s cultural scene. The Tiraz Centre, a project by Widad Kawar, a renowned Palestinian woman who owns the largest collection of Palestinian and Jordanian traditional costumes, weavings, home utensils and jewelry dating all the way back to the 19th and 20th centuries, officially opened its doors. The inaugural exhibition, entitled “Golden Threads of Bethlehem,” celebrates the rich tradition and creativity that went into Bethlehem’s garment industry from 1880 to 1948.
Widad’s stunning collection has been growing for decades. Her commitment and passion to preserving Palestinian culture and heritage in the Arab World is inexorable, and now her collection has come to life. As Widad’s hometown, Bethlehem was chosen for the center’s first theme. It was also where she was gifted her first two traditional dresses (thobs), which were the original reasons she was inspired to begin collecting. Throughout the exhibition, the history and significance of Bethlehem is noted, ranging from the birth of the couching technique in embroidery to the accomplishments of four women who spearheaded the art of embroidery. There are also a few interactive activities, including the Craftsmanship Challenge, which consists of a treasure hunt, as well as a few lectures and embroidery workshops. The Golden Threads of Bethlehem exhibition will run until March 28, and will conclude with two concerts featuring the music of Dozan Wa Awtar, one of Amman’s most talented musical groups.
All photographs taken by BarakaBits photographer Sami Haven.