MENAL Fest 2019 {Resource}

A Crafty Arab was honored to be asked to take part in the MENAL Festival, held at University of Washington, Bothell, located outside Seattle.

The Middle East and North African (MENA) Literature Festival provides a platform that magnifies MENA female voices, allowing them to be heard, and to engage with the public at large.

MENAL Fest featured Tatreez & Tea as the first annual keynote speakers for MENAL fest! This organization teaches about the centuries-old tradition of tatreez (the Arabic word for Palestinian embroidery) and the meanings it carries from generations past and today as a symbol of resilience.

I created a table with the following tutorials to teach about the MENA region.

There were a few other booths from the community as well.

The lecture was standing room only, overflowing so much I gave my booth chairs to others. Afterwards, I had a chance to take a photo with Wafa Ghnaim, the author of Tatreez & Tea: Embroidery and Storytelling in the Palestinian Diaspora and her mother, Feryal Abbasi-Ghnaim, a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellow. We are all wearing Palestinian thobes, an Arabic word for long, flowing garment, all hand embroidered with tatreez.

The next day, a workshop was help to learn how to embroidery and I was able to attend as a participant. I choose to work on a Tree of Life design with my favorite colors. I choose the most difficult design as I had cross stitched before, but I still was not able to finish it as I spent most of my time talking to my table mates. Here is the final project, finished at home.

I was so excited to be a part of this event, first to teach others about the Arab world, then to learn myself new things about the Arab world.

If you would like to have an A Crafty Arab educational book at your next event, please contact me. Be sure to check out other ACraftyArab outings on Pinterest.