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Margarita Skinner

Margarita Skinner of Switzerland in collaboration with Widad Kamel Kawar of Jordan provides us with a glimpse into the history of Palestinian embroidery.

Margarita Skinner, a health and welfare aid worker, was in the Middle East for over twenty years as a volunteer in hospitals, health centres and relief aid organizations. During that time she worked in several Palestinian women's projects in Jordan, Gaza Strip, West Bank and Lebanon. She organized kindergartens, occupational therapy and sewing and embroidery projects in Jordan, and for five years she supervised embroidery production by over 300 ladies in a self-supporting programme in the Gaza Strip.

She worked in the Jerusalem office of the International Committee of the Red Cross after the war in 1967, was UNRWA's Welfare Officer in south Lebanon in the summer of 1982 and UNICEF's Health Coordinator in Baghdad 1991/1992. Her 1998 book "Between Despair and Hope: Windows on my Middle East Journey 1967-1992 (I.B. Tauris/Radcliffe Press London) gives some details of this endeavour.