#TweetYourThobe Campaign and Museum of the Palestinian People Announce April 30th as Annual International Day of Tatreez and Palestinian Culture
Washington, DC: Building on the success of the January 3-5, 2018 #TweetYourThobe campaign and in partnership with the Museum of the Palestinian People, Palestinian Americans are declaring April 30th as International Day of Tatreez and Palestinian Culture — an annual celebration of Palestinian crafts, art, literature, and music.
April 30th is the last day of Arab American Heritage Month, which was recognized by the 115th Congress on April 5, 2017 . There are three and a half million Arab Americans in the United States; approximately 5% are Palestinian Americans, who are diverse in terms of religious beliefs, cultural traditions, and political views.
The annual occasion will be an opportunity for Palestinians and Palestinian Americans to celebrate by hosting local events such as literature readings, musical events, discussion panels, history lectures, Dabke performances, dinners, and fashion shows.
The celebration will also call on Palestinians to post pictures on all social media platforms, using the hashtags #TweetYourThobe, #TweetYourTatreez, and #TweetYourCulture. The Museum of the Palestinian People – inaugurating its physical location this spring in Washington, DC – will serve as a platform for the annual hashtag campaign and celebration. The first #TweetYourThobe social media campaign went viral in January 2019, sweeping Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with thousands of pictures of Palestinians in their thobes.
Susan Muaddi Darraj, who created the #TweetYourThobe campaign, explained, “With this annual celebration, the International Day of Tatreez and Palestinian Culture, we reclaim the narrative and represent Palestinian life more authentically. Through this endeavor, we also highlight Palestinian women, many of whom work in refugee camps using their skills in tatreez to provide income for their families.”
The narratives of real Palestinians have historically been ignored by media outlets. Instead, for decades, Palestinians have been represented solely in relation to their political struggle for independence, framed in stereotypical ways.
The vision for Muaddi Darraj’s campaign aligned with the mission of the Museum of the Palestinian People in providing a platform to share diverse stories that encompass the rich history and culture of the Palestinian People.
According to the Arab American Institute (AAI), tatreez, the art of embroidery, dates back to the 8th century CE: “When a Palestinian woman wears her thobe, or traditional Palestinian dress, she is displaying her heritage on her sleeves. Palestinian embroidery, or tatreez, is the artwork featured on each woman’s thobe, and the shapes and colors of the tatreez can be read to understand a woman’s background, heritage, and struggle.”
The first International Day of Tatreez and Palestinian Culture will be celebrated on April 30, 2019.
About #TweetYourThobe: The #TweetYourThobe campaign was launched on January 3, 2019, to celebrate the induction of Rashida Tlaib (D-Rep. Michigan) to Congress, as well as to educate the American public about Palestinian and Palestinian-American culture. The movement was covered widely in The New York Times, CNN, Haaretz, Buzzfeed, The Huffington Post, NPR’s Weekend Edition, Public Radio International, and many other news outlets.
About the Museum of the Palestinian People: The Museum of the Palestinian People (MPP) shares the rich history, vibrant arts and culture, and spirit of the Palestinian people. The museum launched in 2015 as a series of travelling exhibitions around the United States. The museum is currently located in Washington, DC and will be open to the public on May 18th of 2019.