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Palestinian culture center displays products at Zahra Complex

KUWAIT: Some of the items displayed at Zahra Complex. – Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

By Ben Garcia

KUWAIT: A variety of products from Palestine is being displayed at Zahra Complex in Salmiya as way to help women from a refugee camp in Jordan. Faten Abu-Ghazali, the daughter of the founding chairman of the Center for Palestinian Culture, based in Jordan, said the center seeks to revive Palestinian culture by displaying products in countries around the world. “We normally display our products at least twice a year to remind people about Palestinian culture that is slowly being taken away from them by the occupiers,” said Abu-Ghazali.

The Center for Palestinian Culture is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1960 as part of the Palestinian Women’s Union in Kuwait. Its mission is to assist and improve the level of education of women and children, quality of healthcare, help women become economically independent and preserve the cultural aspect (embroidery/ceramics) of Palestinian identity.

“Cultural heritage is slowly dying since the raw products are now nonexistent – we get some of it from other countries. Palestinian women are doing their best to preserve the identity and heritage of Palestinian people despite the continuous Israeli occupation of parts of Palestine. These women live in refugee camps.

Motifs normally are from everyday events in Palestine, including the things they see in the environment. Some of the products have embroidered flowers, but others have a political message to honor the sacrifices of our Palestinian forefathers and the struggles of the Palestinian people for real freedom and cooperation,” Abu-Ghazali said.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the center’s activities have slowed down considerably. “We have around 500 women depending on help from the center, but because of the global pandemic, we were unable to provide like we did prior to the pandemic. It’s a great challenge, especially since most of the products here have to be brought from the refugee camp in Jordan,” she said.

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