Tuesday, October 27, 2009

West Bank: Women Weavers

From AFP:
In recent years Palestinian women in the Israeli-occupied West Bank have embraced traditional embroidery as a way to support their families while their husbands and male relatives have found it increasingly hard to find work.

A hand-embroidered dress will fetch between 1,200 and 1,500 dollars on the international market, and the women are typically paid around 300 dollars for the work, which is usually done over a period of one to two months, according to figures from a cooperative in the town of Al-Bireh near Ramallah.

The cooperative, which includes some 2,500 women, preaches self-sufficiency, with a prominent sign on the wall reading: "Woe to those who wear what they don't sew and eat what they don't grow."

The women cater largely to Palestinians in the diaspora, who seek out clothes and household items bearing the distinct embroidery of their homeland.

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