Our Palestinian embroidery sale

So, our Charlottesville-based group ‘Holy Land Treasures’ held its second annual pre-Mother’s Day sale of Palestinian Heritage Embroidery here in town. We sold more than $7,500-worth of these really lovely stitched goods (all proceeds go to the producer organizations), and 60 bottles of fine Palestinian olive oil.
It was a lot of work, but also a lot of fun. The University of Virginia Palestinian debkeh dancers sent along a small troupe to dance for us. We had poetry readings, super Palestinian food, music– and sold a lot of stuff!
Doing this helps send a bit of income in to the embroidery artists and the olive farmers. (Just a tiny trickle compared with the great gobs of money the US government sends to Israel every year, of course.) In addition it helps to keep the Palestinians’ rich heritage alive, and it’s a fun way to share information about that heritage with US citizens.
I used to feel quite torn, sometimes, between doing things that you could describe as “social work”, and engaging in the campaign to bring about about deep structural change. Then I figured, why not do both? Let each engagement inform the other.
It’s Mother’s Day today, here in the US. The occasion was originally founded as an anti-war action– but the Hallmark Cards Co. has been trying to hide that fact ever since.
Maybe next year we should all focus much harder on reclaiming Mother’s Day for the anti-war movement?
In the meantime, my wish for every mother around the world for the year ahead is that she, her children, and each of those she loves be assured the basics of a decent life including the oppportunity to participate in a secure community of her or his own choosing.