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December 11, 2010

AL GHAD - Threads of Identity Book Launch in Amman

Kawar Signs Threads of Identity With a Presentation on the History of Women Who Have Reflected a Social Fabric in the Palestinian costumes.


The researcher and historian of Palestinian and Jordanian heritage, Widad Kawar, attended a ceremony to sign her book Threads of Identity under the patronage of Senator Layla Sharaf the day before yesterday at the Orthodox Club (in Amman).

Senator Sharaf described the researcher Kawar as "The First Lady of the Exhibition," praising the concerted effort by the women who worked on the book and attempted, through a serious course of action, to present all the details that relate to the journey of acquiring anything pertaining to Palestinian and Jordanian heritage that records the history of the women during the periods before and after their exile into the camps.


The graduate of the Friends School of Ramallah, who has a Bachelors' Degree in sociology from the American University of Beirut, started her journey of recording this history through her hobby of collecting artifacts. She then moved on to the stage of continuous research and study. She followed history through its tools, clothes, and threads to present the creations by women that narrate the stories of both village and camp.


Kawar noted that she wanted to convey a political message and narrate the history of a real people through a realistic image filled with human details "of women who have gone through all emotions of life, including suffering, joy, and sorrow through a reality governed by wars and political upheaval,".


The introduction of Kawar's book says: "I was extremely angry at the Israeli occupation, so angry to the extent of defiance, and I wanted to assert the facts through reality." She said that the book presents the story of the Palestinian and Jordanian village girl, as well as that of other Arab countries, who threaded and embroidered her life on her multi-colored costume, thus creating a piece of art through which the emotions of women were expressed.

Kawar clarified that "the reason why the book was published in English is to try and address western society and confirm and clarify history in a universal language that all can communicate in. It also presents facts on the history of women, which reflect a social fabric in which the Palestinian costumes constituted a form of resistance and revolution against the occupation."


During the ceremony, Nora Shawwa, the owner of Rimal Publications specializing in history books, autobiographies, and children's books, thanked Mrs Kawar for giving the publishing house the opportunity to elucidate Palestinian identity with all its details and dimensions in a credible and true manner.


The ceremony also hosted the Palestinian singer from Nazareth, Rim Banna, who studied music in Moscow and specializes in folk song. She expressed her joy at being part of an event that could revive and preserve the heritage. The mother of three wore a costume from the village of Beit Dajan, Yafa, and expressed her pride in wearing a costume that proclaims her Palestinian identity to the entire world.


She sang two Palestinian chants with which she delighted the audience through simple words and a warm voice which Palestinian women use to sing to their children and men-folk on various occasions. Banna said: "Wearing the Palestinian costume fills me with pride and the sense of belonging to the identity of these women. It makes me feel as though I am wearing their pride, skin, and patience when I wear the costume."


Nahlah al-Salti, a woman who is well-versed in history and its nuances and who presented a costume from a region mentioned in Kawar's book, expressed her joy at attending the ceremony and the production of the book, which she considered "a pillar that provides evidence of the identity and taste of the Eastern woman in Palestine and Jordan, and a revelation reflecting the identity of these women".


Kawar did not fail to thank those who produced the book, including those who provided support and contributed toward the final product, starting with her deceased husband Kamel Kawar, who supported her throughout the long years of their life together; Mrs Layla Sharaf; the owner of Rimal Publications Nora Shawwa; the designer Salwa Qadan; the photographers Falak Shawwa and Nabil Qutaynah; the organizer of the ceremony Miral Murad; Ali, Fadia, and Haya Shawwa; and last but not least, her children Ayman, Zina, Lina, and Mary.


The ceremony ended with a message presented through a book of special information on the history of a journey of many years that Widad Kawar embarked on in research and accurate study, as well as collecting artifacts and robes, in the hope of conveying this history to Arab, eastern, and western generations and confirming it for past generations.



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