Tatreez – A Rich Islamic Tradition At Risk

Tatreez is known to be a traditional Palestinian embroidery which originates from Palestinian villages. A lot of time is spent on this traditional embroidery and it includes sewing and bringing colorful pieces together. It is a symbol of Palestinian cultural inheritance which is that much more important for a person who have lost their lands the greatest of all cultural inheritances. Tatreez is passed on from mothers as a collection to their daughters.

Recently, this tradition is at risk of being lost and this is due to the fact that a fewer Palestinians are learning the art of tatreez. As a result, a project ‘Darzah’ was set in place. Darzah is a non-profit women’s economic initiative that is based in the West Bank. Its main objective is to replenish the growth of tatreez by creating jobs for Palestinian refugees as well as low income earners especially women to compete in the global market. This in turn calls for the celebration of the old tradition and makes its presence known globally. There is a plan to extend the garment across the globe.

In recent times, Darzah has set up artisan centers in the west bank. This is expected to provide a space for Palestinian refugees as well as low income women artist that handcraft these garments. They can be sold on Darzah’s website as well as many other pop-up stores across the United States. There is a vast selection of handmade tatreez and it ranges from bags, aprons, shoes etc. They also offer special services such as special bridal shoes. A part of the proceeds from each sale through their website, will go towards funding their training and employment programs in the west bank.

A prominent issue at hand is the decline of the once thriving shoe industry in Hebron. This issue is taking a toll on the Palestinian economy. In the past, the local shoe making industry was able to sustain the market but of recently, there has been a growing influx of imported cheap products (that are currently flooding the market). This is something that Darzah wants to change by working together with local shoe makers, manufactures as well as suppliers within the west bank.

Check out darzah.org.

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