Special programs

Index / Activities / Special programs / LIVING TATREEZ: Embroidering a patchwork of Palestinian memories

LIVING TATREEZ: Embroidering a patchwork of Palestinian memories

From November 23, 2023 until December 16, 2023Check dates, times and entry conditions for each activity.
MADRID AND CORDOBA
Casa Árabe’s headquarters in both cities (at Calle Alcalá, 62 in Madrid and Calle Samuel de los Santos Gener, 9 in Cordoba). Check dates, times and entry conditions for each activity.

Casa Árabe is organizing this program of activities in Madrid and Cordoba based on tatreez, Palestine’s traditional embroidery. The activities include seven embroidery workshops, a film screening and a round table discussion on the subject.

The craft of “Tatreez” or traditional Palestinian embroidery, declared since 2021 to be a form of Intangible Intangible Heritage by UNESCO, is a Palestinian folk art traditionally practiced by women. It has now become a symbol of Palestinian culture, identity and resistance. The word “tatreez” literally means embroidery in Arabic, and although the term is used to refer to embroidery in general, it is understood to refer to cross-stitch within the Palestinian context. Beyond its use on clothing, dresses and scarves, it can be found in drawings, artwork and signage. Moreover, it is an art form in and of itself, and a means of survival, having become a practice which provides a space for interaction by women, shared with similar artistic customs and practices in other regions of the Arab world and Mediterranean.

The workshops hosted by Casa Árabe throughout the months of November and December at its Madrid and Cordoba headquarters will include contributions from Dina Asfour, a cultural embroiderer and the founder of the Tatreez Collective, and from Maysun Cheikh Ali Mediavilla, a Spanish-Palestinian teacher and artist. They are designed for a maximum of 20 people per workshop, and the price includes the required materials.

The goal is to raise awareness about the different varieties and dimensions of Palestinian embroidery, and their significance in Palestinian identity and culture, as well as in the economy and society, by creating networks and job opportunities for the local population and refugees, especially women.

The workshops are meant to provide spaces for meeting and sharing around a cup of tea and a tasting of Arab sweets or dates. They will include a theoretical presentation (20 minutes) about Tatreez in Palestine’s history and culture, its variants by region, its dimensions and meanings, as well as holding a practical embroidery session. Each participant will choose two models or sketches from a series of proposals, and on the basis thereof will create their own piece of embroidery. Those who would like to do so can donate one of the pieces to be used to complete a living Tatreez, a collective work to be created with all of the pieces donated at all of the many workshops.

In addition to the living Tatreez, in the form of a star, a documentary will be made about them. It will be an open and collective work to which all participants in the workshops and the general public who wish to join the initiative can contribute. It will later be exhibited at Casa Árabe’s headquarters in Madrid as of December 17, before traveling to Casa Árabe’s headquarters in Cordoba in February.

Those interested who are unable to attend the workshops, but who would like to create embroidery pieces at home, can do so using the guides provided on this website. Anyone who creates embroideries outside the workshops will also be able to donate them afterwards.
LIVING TATREEZ: Embroidering a patchwork of Palestinian memories
  • Palestinian embroidery workshop in Cordoba

    Palestinian embroidery workshop in Cordoba

    November 23, 2023From 5:00 p.m to 7:00 p.m.
    CORDOBA
    Casa Árabe headquarters (at Samuel de los Santos Gener, 9). From 5:00 p.m to 7:00 p.m. 4 euros for the general public at the headquarters.
    3 euros: tickets purchased online, the officially unemployed, Casa Árabe Language Center students and Youth Card holders. Ticket sales on our website (in the section with information on each workshop) or at Casa Árabe’s headquarters in Cordoba (payment in cash or by credit card).
    In Spanish.
    Casa Árabe is organising this "tatriz" or Palestinian embroidery workshop on Thursday 23rd November in Cordoba, given by Maysoun Cheikh Ali. Get to know this technique and its symbolism on a unique occasion, so sign up!
    The goal is to raise awareness about the different varieties and dimensions of Palestinian embroidery, and their significance in Palestinian identity and culture, as well as in the economy and society, by creating networks and job opportunities for the local population and refugees, especially women.

    The workshops are meant to provide spaces for meeting and sharing around a cup of tea and a tasting of Arab sweets or dates. They will include a theoretical presentation (20 minutes) about Tatreez in Palestine’s history and culture, its variants by region, its dimensions and meanings, as well as holding a practical embroidery session. Each participant will choose two models or sketches from a series of proposals, and on the basis thereof will create their own piece of embroidery. Those who would like to do so can donate one of the pieces to be used to complete a living Tatreez, a collective work to be created with all of the pieces donated at all of the many workshops.

    In addition to the living Tatreez, in the form of a star, a documentary will be made about them. It will be an open and collective work to which all participants in the workshops and the general public who wish to join the initiative can contribute. It will later be exhibited at Casa Árabe’s headquarters in Madrid as of December 17, before traveling to Casa Árabe’s headquarters in Cordoba in February.

    Those interested who are unable to attend the workshops, but who would like to create embroidery pieces at home, can do so using the guides provided on this website. Anyone who creates embroideries outside the workshops will also be able to donate them afterwards.
  • Embroider ‘tatreez’ from home and share your work

    Embroider ‘tatreez’ from home and share your work

    From November 27, 2023 until February 07, 2024
    If you were hoping to participate in our Palestinian embroidery workshops but there is no space left, you can still do so from home. Below you will find the instructions and designs you need. And make sure to share your ‘tatreez’ with us so that we can include it in the collaborative mural which we will be putting on display at our headquarters.
    If you decide to create an embroidery on your own, you just have to follow the instructions (also available in in Arabic) and designs that we have prepared for the star/collective work by adding color in whatever way you choose. There are also other possible designs (by theme, color, difficulty level and origin) at Tirazain.com (@tirazain.initiative), a digital archive created by Zain Masri

    The materials you will need: 
    Number 26 round-tip needle 
    Panama cloth, number 14 (dark beige or light beige), in 10x10 cm. squares. 
    Thread number 8, DMC (embroidery thread, cotton), in whatever colors you wish; there is a wide range 
    Scissors 

    In order to donate the embroidered pieces, you can bring them to Casa Árabe’s headquarters in Madrid or send them to us via postal mail by January 31, along with a donation certificate (download here), at:

    Casa Árabe (Formación / Tatriz Vivo)
    c/ Alcalá 62
    28009 Madrid 
  • Palestinian embroidery workshop in Madrid

    Palestinian embroidery workshop in Madrid

    December 01, 2023From 5:00 p.m to 7:00 p.m.
    MADRID
    Casa Árabe headquarters (Calle Alcalá 62). From 5:00 p.m to 7:00 p.m. 5 euros (all the materials are included in the price).
    In Spanish.
    On Friday, December 1st, the first of the Palestinian tatriz or embroidery workshops we are offering at Casa Árabe during the month of December will be taking place in Madrid.
    Taught by Maysoun Cheikh Ali, its goal is to raise awareness about the different varieties and dimensions of Palestinian embroidery, and their significance in Palestinian identity and culture, as well as in the economy and society, by creating networks and job opportunities for the local population and refugees, especially women.

    The workshops are meant to provide spaces for meeting and sharing around a cup of tea and a tasting of Arab sweets or dates. They will include a theoretical presentation (20 minutes) about Tatreez in Palestine’s history and culture, its variants by region, its dimensions and meanings, as well as holding a practical embroidery session. Each participant will choose two models or sketches from a series of proposals, and on the basis thereof will create their own piece of embroidery. Those who would like to do so can donate one of the pieces to be used to complete a living Tatreez, a collective work to be created with all of the pieces donated at all of the many workshops.

    In addition to the living Tatreez, in the form of a star, a documentary will be made about them. It will be an open and collective work to which all participants in the workshops and the general public who wish to join the initiative can contribute. It will later be exhibited at Casa Árabe’s headquarters in Madrid as of December 17, before traveling to Casa Árabe’s headquarters in Cordoba in February.

    Those interested who are unable to attend the workshops, but who would like to create embroidery pieces at home, can do so using the guides provided on this website. Anyone who creates embroideries outside the workshops will also be able to donate them afterwards.
  • Second Palestinian embroidery workshop in Madrid

    Second Palestinian embroidery workshop in Madrid

    December 02, 2023From 5:00 p.m to 7:00 p.m.
    MADRID
    Casa Árabe headquarters (Calle Alcalá 62). From 5:00 p.m to 7:00 p.m. 5 euros (all the materials are included in the price).
    In Spanish.
    We are offering a new session of the tatriz or Palestinian embroidery workshops we teach at Casa Árabe. It will be held on the afternoon of Saturday, December 2nd, and tickets are already sold out. Take part from home.
    Taught by Maysoun Cheikh Ali, its goal is to raise awareness about the different varieties and dimensions of Palestinian embroidery, and their significance in Palestinian identity and culture, as well as in the economy and society, by creating networks and job opportunities for the local population and refugees, especially women.

    The workshops are meant to provide spaces for meeting and sharing around a cup of tea and a tasting of Arab sweets or dates. They will include a theoretical presentation (20 minutes) about Tatreez in Palestine’s history and culture, its variants by region, its dimensions and meanings, as well as holding a practical embroidery session. Each participant will choose two models or sketches from a series of proposals, and on the basis thereof will create their own piece of embroidery. Those who would like to do so can donate one of the pieces to be used to complete a living Tatreez, a collective work to be created with all of the pieces donated at all of the many workshops.

    In addition to the living Tatreez, in the form of a star, a documentary will be made about them. It will be an open and collective work to which all participants in the workshops and the general public who wish to join the initiative can contribute. It will later be exhibited at Casa Árabe’s headquarters in Madrid as of December 17, before traveling to Casa Árabe’s headquarters in Cordoba in February.

    Those interested who are unable to attend the workshops, but who would like to create embroidery pieces at home, can do so using the guides provided on this website. Anyone who creates embroideries outside the workshops will also be able to donate them afterwards.
  • Film and colloquium: “Stitching Palestine”
    Documentary poster

    Film and colloquium: “Stitching Palestine”

    December 14, 20238:00 p.m.
    MADRID / ONLINE
    Casa Árabe Auditorium (at Calle Alcalá, 62) and Casa Árabe’s YouTube channel. 8:00 p.m.
    On Thursday, December 14, we will be screening this documentary film and holding a talk with its director, Carol Mansour, and the artists Dina Asfour and Maysoun Cheikh Ali, to accompany the activities which Casa Árabe is dedicating to Palestinian embroidery or “tatreez.”
    “Stitching Palestine,” by Carol Mansour (Lebanon, 2017, 1 hr. 18 min). Documentary
    Twelve Palestinian women sit before us and tell us about their lives before the diaspora, including their memories, lives and identity. Their stories are connected by the long-lasting thread in the ancient art of embroidery. Twelve resilient, determined and eloquent women from different professions and social statuses: women lawyers, artists, housewives, activists, architects and politicians, sew the story of their homeland, their dispossession and their unwavering determination to see justice prevail. Through their stories, individuals are woven in with the collective while remaining distinctly personal. Twelve women, twelve lives and stories from Palestine; a land whose position was fixed onto the map of the world but is now embroidered on its face.

    The screening will be followed by a discussion with the film's director Carol Mansour (online connection) and the artists who teach the workshops Maysun Cheikh Ali and Dina Asfour. The colloquium can be followed live on our Youtube channel.

    Film preview:


    Carol Mansour 
    Carol Mansour (Beirut, 1961) is a Lebanese-Palestinian documentary filmmaker and editor living between Beirut and Montreal. With over 20 years of experience in documentary production, Mansour has covered the world from Sri Lanka to Lebanon and Uzbekistan. His films have earned her international acknowledgment and have been selected for screening at over thirty film festivals around the world. 

    Some of the most prestigious awards which her films have won include the Best Documentary Award at the Al-Ard Film Festival in Sardinia, and the Women’s Film Critics Circle Award at the Rated SR 2015 Festival in New York, for her 2014 documentary “We Can’t Go There Now, Darling.” Furthermore, Mansour received an award at the 2018 Delhi International Film Festival for her film “Stitching Palestine,” released in 2017. The same film also won the 2017 Audience Award for Best Feature Film at Boston’s Palestine Film Festival. 

    Mansour is the founder of Forward Film Production, a company that creates documentaries, corporate and marketing films, educational and training videos, personal biographies and TV commercials. Prior to launching Forward Film Production, she produced, directed and presented numerous live entertainment, magazine and travel programs for the BBC, as well as entertainment, magazine and travel programs for Future Television in Beirut. 

    Mansour’s work reflects her concern for human rights, social justice, migrant workers, refugees, the environment, mental health, war and memory, health rights and child labor.

  • New Palestinian embroidery workshop in Madrid

    New Palestinian embroidery workshop in Madrid

    December 15, 2023From 5:00 p.m to 7:00 p.m.
    MADRID
    Casa Árabe headquarters (Calle Alcalá 62). From 5:00 p.m to 7:00 p.m. 5 euros (all the materials are included in the price).
    In Spanish.
    On Friday 15th December the 'tatriz' workshops return to Casa Árabe's headquarters in Madrid. Take part in this unique opportunity to make a collaborative embroidery. Tickets are sold out. Take part from home.
    Taught by Dina Asfour, its goal is to raise awareness about the different varieties and dimensions of Palestinian embroidery, and their significance in Palestinian identity and culture, as well as in the economy and society, by creating networks and job opportunities for the local population and refugees, especially women.

    The workshops are meant to provide spaces for meeting and sharing around a cup of tea and a tasting of Arab sweets or dates. They will include a theoretical presentation (20 minutes) about Tatreez in Palestine’s history and culture, its variants by region, its dimensions and meanings, as well as holding a practical embroidery session. Each participant will choose two models or sketches from a series of proposals, and on the basis thereof will create their own piece of embroidery. Those who would like to do so can donate one of the pieces to be used to complete a living Tatreez, a collective work to be created with all of the pieces donated at all of the many workshops.

    In addition to the living Tatreez, in the form of a star, a documentary will be made about them. It will be an open and collective work to which all participants in the workshops and the general public who wish to join the initiative can contribute. It will later be exhibited at Casa Árabe’s headquarters in Madrid as of December 17, before traveling to Casa Árabe’s headquarters in Cordoba in February.

    Those interested who are unable to attend the workshops, but who would like to create embroidery pieces at home, can do so using the guides provided on this website. Anyone who creates embroideries outside the workshops will also be able to donate them afterwards.
  • Fourth Palestinian embroidery workshop in Madrid

    Fourth Palestinian embroidery workshop in Madrid

    December 16, 2023From 5:00 p.m to 7:00 p.m.
    MADRID
    Casa Árabe headquarters (at Calle Alcalá, 62). From 5:00 p.m to 7:00 p.m. 5 euros (all the materials are included in the price).
    In Spanish.
    On Saturday 16 December, the fourth of the 'tatriz' workshops we are organising in Madrid will take place. Learn this craft technique and its symbolism from two Spanish-Palestinian artists. Tickets are sold out. Participate from home.
    Its goal is to raise awareness about the different varieties and dimensions of Palestinian embroidery, and their significance in Palestinian identity and culture, as well as in the economy and society, by creating networks and job opportunities for the local population and refugees, especially women.

    The workshops are meant to provide spaces for meeting and sharing around a cup of tea and a tasting of Arab sweets or dates. They will include a theoretical presentation (20 minutes) about Tatreez in Palestine’s history and culture, its variants by region, its dimensions and meanings, as well as holding a practical embroidery session. Each participant will choose two models or sketches from a series of proposals, and on the basis thereof will create their own piece of embroidery. Those who would like to do so can donate one of the pieces to be used to complete a living Tatreez, a collective work to be created with all of the pieces donated at all of the many workshops.

    In addition to the living Tatreez, in the form of a star, a documentary will be made about them. It will be an open and collective work to which all participants in the workshops and the general public who wish to join the initiative can contribute. It will later be exhibited at Casa Árabe’s headquarters in Madrid as of December 17, before traveling to Casa Árabe’s headquarters in Cordoba in February.

    Those interested who are unable to attend the workshops, but who would like to create embroidery pieces at home, can do so using the guides provided on this website. Anyone who creates embroideries outside the workshops will also be able to donate them afterwards.
  • Last Palestinian embroidery workshop in Madrid

    Last Palestinian embroidery workshop in Madrid

    December 16, 2023From 5:00 p.m to 7:00 p.m.
    MADRID
    Casa Árabe headquarters (at Calle Alcalá, 62). From 5:00 p.m to 7:00 p.m. 5 euros (all the materials are included in the price).
    In Spanish.
    Last chance to participate in person in the 'tatriz' workshops that we organise, given by the artists Maysoun Cheikh Ali and Dina Asfour. Don't miss this unique opportunity to learn a World Heritage craft technique. Tickets are sold out. Participate from home.
    Its goal is to raise awareness about the different varieties and dimensions of Palestinian embroidery, and their significance in Palestinian identity and culture, as well as in the economy and society, by creating networks and job opportunities for the local population and refugees, especially women.

    The workshops are meant to provide spaces for meeting and sharing around a cup of tea and a tasting of Arab sweets or dates. They will include a theoretical presentation (20 minutes) about Tatreez in Palestine’s history and culture, its variants by region, its dimensions and meanings, as well as holding a practical embroidery session. Each participant will choose two models or sketches from a series of proposals, and on the basis thereof will create their own piece of embroidery. Those who would like to do so can donate one of the pieces to be used to complete a living Tatreez, a collective work to be created with all of the pieces donated at all of the many workshops.

    In addition to the living Tatreez, in the form of a star, a documentary will be made about them. It will be an open and collective work to which all participants in the workshops and the general public who wish to join the initiative can contribute. It will later be exhibited at Casa Árabe’s headquarters in Madrid as of December 17, before traveling to Casa Árabe’s headquarters in Cordoba in February.

    Those interested who are unable to attend the workshops, but who would like to create embroidery pieces at home, can do so using the guides provided on this website. Anyone who creates embroideries outside the workshops will also be able to donate them afterwards.
Maysun Cheikh Ali Mediavilla
A Spanish-Palestinian teacher and artist, she studied Fine Arts in Madrid and completed a year of studies at the University of Fine Arts in Athens, as well as a Master’s degree in Sociocultural Analysis of Communication and Knowledge at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid Since 1994, she has taken part in exhibitions and art shows, as well as various competitions and festivals. Within the wide range of artistic practices she takes part in, including embroidery, she has been given three awards for her digital animations (Getxo Jury Prize, 2011; First Prize for Digital Animation, Lúmen Ex Digital Art Festival, 2010 and Third Prize for Digital Animation, Cadiz City Council, 2010). dibujosmay.com

Dina Asfour
A cultural embroiderer and the founder of The Tatreez Collective, Dina Asfour was born and raised in Spain, with a Palestinian refugee father and a Spanish mother, and has always been very committed to the Palestinian cause. She moved to London in 2016, where she found herself in a diverse environment that gave her the chance to explore and share her identity with others through the art of tatreez. The Tatreez Collective consists of three diaspora women of Middle Eastern descent (Dina Asfour, Lizzy Vartanian and Yomn Al-Kaisi), all ultimately united by their love for tatreez. The word “tatreez” means embroidery in Arabic, and although the term is used to refer to embroidery in general, in the Palestinian context it is understood to refer to cross-stitch. They see their practice as a way of documenting and promoting Palestinian heritage, as well as an act of resistance.
linktr.ee/thetatreezcollective
@thetatreezcollective

CORDOBA

Nov. 23, 2023 Workshop 1 - Tickets now on sale
5:00 - 7:00 p.m. - Given by Maysun Cheikh Ali 
Casa Árabe headquarters in Cordoba 

Nov. 30, 2023 Workshop 2*
7:30 - 9:30 p.m. - Given by Maysun Cheikh Ali 
Mateo Inurria Higher Art and Design School 
*(Only for students of the School)

MADRID

Dec. 1, 2023 Workshop 3 - Tickets now on sale 
5:00 - 7:00 p.m. - Given by Maysun Cheikh Ali 
Casa Árabe headquarters in Madrid 

Dec. 2, 2023 Workshop 4 
5:00 - 7:00 p.m. - Given by Maysun Cheikh Ali 
Casa Árabe headquarters in Madrid 

Dec. 15, 2023 Workshop 5 
5:00 - 7:00 p.m. - Given by Dina Asfour / Tatreez Collective 
Casa Árabe headquarters in Madrid 

Dec. 16, 2023 Workshop 6 
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - Given by Dina Asfour / Tatreez Collective 
Casa Árabe headquarters in Madrid 

Dec. 16, 2023 Workshop 7 
12:00 - 2:00 p.m. - Given by Maysun Cheikh Ali 
Casa Árabe headquarters in Madrid

Related content

International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

In order to mark this anniversary, which is commemorated every year on November 29, Casa Árabe has organized a special schedule of events which includes a book presentation, a show highlighting the spoken word and the screening of a documentary.
From November 28, 2023 until November 30, 2023 MADRID / ONLINE

“Time of the White Horses” by Ibrahim Nasrallah

On Tuesday, November 28, Casa Árabe, with the cooperation of the Diplomatic Mission of Palestine in Spain, will be presenting “Time of the White Horses: The Palestinian Iliad,” by Palestinian writer Ibrahim Nasrallah. 
November 28, 2023 MADRID / ONLINE

Concert recital by “chamæleon”

In order to mark the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People to be commemorated on November 29, Casa Árabe is organizing the concert-recital “Chamæleon,” with Farah Chamma, LIEV and Alicia Sanchez, which will be taking place on the same date at 8:00 p.m. in Madrid.
November 29, 2023 MADRID

Film and colloquium: “Gaza”

In order to mark the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, within the framework of our “Film of the Month” activities, on November 30 we will be screening this documentary by Garry Keane and Andrew McConnell in Madrid.
November 30, 2023 MADRID / ONLINE