Threads of Identity: Preserving Palestinian Costume and Heritage by Widad Kamel Kawar
Threads of Identity is a history of Palestinian women of the 20th century told through aspects of popular heritage, focusing on traditional dresses but also including textiles and rug weaving, rural and urban customs, cuisine, and festivities. Author Widad Kawar conducted interviews with women who lived through the traumas and changes of the 20th century, and they become a contribution to oral history, augmenting standard historical accounts. While most writing about the Middle East concentrates on politics, Kawar's book focuses on the dignity of ordinary people, and women in particular, bridging the gap between the major events of history and everyday life.
This book is a record of the 50 years Kawar spent researching, collecting and preserving part of the heritage of Palestine. This endeavor evolved into the Widad Kawar Collection, the largest to date of Palestinian, Jordanian and other Arab traditional dress and accessories, comprising more than 2,000 items.