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Palestinian embroidery on UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Jerusalem24 – UNESCO has added a series of art to Intangible Cultural Heritage, including Arabic calligraphy, Al-Qudoud al-Halabiya – or traditional Aleppo music – Palestinian embroidery, Iraqi waterwheel craft skills, and Bahraini art.

This decision came after the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage meetings which began on December 13 and end on December 18, 2021.

The committee, composed of 24 elected state representatives took into consideration 55 applications for art “candidates,” which include 45 applications for joining the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, 5 requests for inclusion in the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, and 5 proposals for the inclusion for the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices.

Palestinian embroidery

As for the Palestinian embroidery, which is a quintessential part of Palestinian culture, UNESCO said “each of these garments is embroidered with a variety of symbols including birds, trees, and flowers. The choice of colors and designs indicates the woman’s regional identity and marital and economic status.”

Furthermore, “embroidery is sewn with silk thread on wool, linen or cotton. Embroidery is a social and intergenerational practice, as women gather in each other’s homes to practice embroidery and sewing, often with their daughters.”

The Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity today includes 492 elements and aims to highlight and raise awareness of cultural practices and skills of local communities.

As for the number of items included today in the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, 67 items are included; the list includes living heritage items that are in danger of extinction.

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