Hanan Lectures at Bir Zeit University
On Saturday, December 5, 2009 Hanan and Farah Munayyer
co-founders of the Palestinian Heritage Foundation
were the guests of
the Ethnographic and Art Museum at Bir Zeit University in
Bir Zeit, Palestine. The lecture was
attended by more than fifty guests from all over the West
Bank and included a slide presentation by Mrs. Munayyer
presenting her research on the history of embroidery in the
Middle East and her upcoming book addressing the history
of Palestinian costume and embroidery art through the ages.
The lecture was hosted by the Director of the Museum, renowned
artist Ms. Vera Tamari. In attendance was University
President Dr. Nabil Kassis. The event was covered by "Al
Quds" daily newspaper.
the archive of Bir Zeit University
The Munayyers Visit with Mrs. Widad Kawar in Jordan
During a recent three-day visit to Amman, Jordan to promote Hananís
upcoming book on the history of Palestinian embroidery,
Farah and Hanan visited with Mrs. Widad Kawar, a pioneer
collector of Palestinian traditional costumes. The
Munayyers discussed with Mrs. Kawar her future plans for
a museum in Amman to house her immense collection of
Palestinian and Jordanian costumes. The Munayyers were
accompanied to the Kawars by Mrs. Arwa Dajani, a close
friend of Mrs. Kawar and who graciously hosted with her
husband Mr. Adel Dajani a dinner for about twenty-five
guests to hear Hanan talk about the Foundation and
her upcoming book.
left: Mrs. Arwa Dajani, Mrs. Widad Kawar and Mrs. Hanan Munayyer
Estephans Donate Palestinian Garments to PHF
Henry and Eleanor Estephan of Indiana have recently donated several
embroidered items to the Foundation. These garments include
an antique Ramallah white rumi dress embroidered with silk
thread on handwoven fabric, a man's wool abaye, several
hattas and other minor embroidered items.
Henry's aunt Melvina Haddad
of Ramallah, Palestine, had
commissioned a woman in the 1940s to embroider the dress for
her niece Viola (Henry's sister), who at the time was
attending school in Pasadena City College in California.
Viola wanted to wear an authentic Palestinian dress when she
and other students
from different countries were invited by the Rotary Club to
give talks about their respective homelands. Viola wore that
when the Rotary Club took a group of foreign students to
Disneyland to celebrate its grand opening in 1955.
Eventually, Viola sent the dress to Henry and Eleanor to use
to promote Palestinian art and culture. The Estephans have
had it since then.
Henry Estephan is a graduate of the Friends School in Ramallah and a
friend of Joseph and Annie Qutub who are close friends of
the Munayyers and the Foundation. Although Joseph and Henry
graduated from the same school in the late 1940 and early
1950s, they never met until both attended the University of
Indiana in the 1950s. During a university reunion last year
the Estephans told the Qutubs about these items and the
Qutubs advised them that the Palestinian Heritage Foundation
is the best and proper home for the garments.
Henry Estephan was born in Haifa, moved to Jaffa as a young boy, and
eventually left with his family to Jerusalem. Like many
other young people from the area, he attended the Friends
School in Ramallah before coming to the United States
through a scholarship arranged by the late Rolla Foley, his
music teacher who helped over 150 of the Friends' graduates
to get scholarships to complete their higher education in
the United States.
The dress is in excellent condition and looks as if it came right
out of an embroidery workshop. The Foundation thanks Henry
and Eleanor Estephan, Melvina Haddad and Viola for their
generous gesture, and the Qutubs for initiating the