Beginning Tatreez Series: Second Session “Resistance & Rock Throwers”


Wafa Ghnaim
Author and Tatreez Expert

**This is a fee-based class on the art of tatreez. This is the second of four classes in this series, each lasting 3 hours in duration, from 4 to 7 pm, and costing $40. You can take any class in the series, don’t have to take them in any order.












The thobe, a traditional embroidered dress handmade and worn for centuries by Palestinian women, is the bedrock of Palestinian textile artistry. Since the 11th century, Palestinian women have showcased their skillful stitchery on their traditional costume, displaying unique motifs, colors and styles across the various villages of old Palestine. After 1948, nearly one million Palestinians were forced into exile, and carried their Palestinian embroidery traditions with them into refugee camps and around the world, also referred to as the ‘diaspora’. As the diaspora spread across the globe (the largest and longest-standing population of displaced people in the world) — the thobe evolved into a symbol of national identity and solidarity.

During the First Intifada (1987-1993), when Israeli soldiers confiscated the flags of Palestinian women protesting in the streets, the women responded by embroidering the Palestinian flag and silhouettes of the country in repetition along the chests, sleeves, and back hems of their thobes. Since the thobe was worn against the skin, Israeli soldiers were unable to confiscate clothing, and Palestinian women boldly used their bodies as a tool of political resistance.

Author and teaching artist, Wafa Ghnaim, will share her research into the infamous First Intifada motifs within context to the broader art history of Palestinian embroidery production and design. The main dresses discussed are those that have been featured in the collections of the Palestine Museum’s “Labour of Love” exhibit (2018), Widad Kawar’s Home for Arab Dresses “Tiraz” (current), School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Textile Resource Center and private collections.

Because we will be using one cloth for the entire class series, you have the option of either bringing your own Aida cloth or order one with registration. All students are required to bring fabric to class, and are welcome to order it through the below Eventbrite registration, or bring their own. The cloth specification is 12 or 14 count Aida cloth, depending on the student’s comfort zone. If you have any questions about the type of cloth that is required for class, please contact the instructor, Wafa Ghnaim, at



  • Class Dates: Every Friday, 4-7pm from February 21 – March 13. Mark your calendar. Please arrive ten minutes early if possible.
    Prerequisites: None. Students are welcome to take one or all of the classes, and no experience is required. The class series does not need to be taken in any specific order, and any student can join any class.
  • Supplies: All supplies are provided except for fabric. 12×12 white Aida cloth (12-14 count) will be used for all the classes in the series. Students are welcome to order from Wafa directly ($2 per 12×12 cloth), or bring their own. Some students may require two sheets of Aida cloth.
  • Students arriving late will miss the contextual design analysis at the start of every class.



Friday, 2/28, 4-7pm – Resistance & Rock Throwers
Friday, 3/6, 4-7pm – Map of Palestine & Calligraphy
Friday, 3/13, 4-7pm – Dome of the Rock

To register for the classes individually or as a discounted package – click here!

Enrollment is limited and registration is required. 

To learn more about the project, please visit