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Palestinians celebrate Traditional Dress Day in West Bank, Gaza

July 25, 2015 7:36 P.M. (Updated: July 26, 2015 10:59 A.M.)
Palestinian women and girls came to Ramallah's celebration decked out in the tradition black and red embroideries (MaanImages/File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Hundreds of Palestinians wearing traditional Palestinian dress attended marches across the West Bank and Gaza on Saturday to celebrate Traditional Palestinian Dress and Heritage Day.

In Ramallah, men, women and children marched from the municipality building in the northern town of al-Bireh to the al-Bireh cultural center, waving Palestinian flags and signs while calling for the protection of the Palestinian cultural heritage.

Palestinians have in the past spoken out against "cultural appropriation" by the Jewish Israeli population, citing in particular the Israeliclaim to traditional Palestinian foods such as humus and falafel, as well as traditional clothing, including an Israeliredesignof the Palestinian Kuffeyeh that incorporated a light blue Star of David.

Lana Hijazi, who coordinated the celebrations, said that the idea of a day celebrating Palestinian traditional dress came following a discussion she had with a friend from Gaza, Mai al-Li, on the importance of the Palestinian traditional dress, heritage and civilization.

"The goal of the initiative is to remind Palestinians around the world of our heritage to maintain. Jews are referring our civilization and heritage to them, and we have to maintain and keep our identity,"Hijazi said.

Hundreds of Palestinians showed up on the streets of Ramallah to celebrate Palestinian Traditional Dress Day (MaanImages/File)

During the gathering, celebrators played tradition Palestinian music while performing traditional dances (MaanImages/File)

She said that the initiative was in response to fears that the Palestinian heritage is under "attack" from Israel, that is is being stolen and falsified.

"Wearing the Palestinian traditional dress is resisting the occupation," Hijaz said. "We resist and keep our cultural heritage as part of the beauty of our Palestine."

Celebrations also took place in Gaza, where people marched to the UNESCO headquarters there, demanding UNESCO and the Palestinian Authority officially recognize July 25 as Palestinian Traditional Dress and Heritage Day.

Omar Abu Shawish, from the Gaza campaign, called on the PA to support the Palestinian heritage and urged UNESCO to respond to Israeli action against it.

"We call on the PA to customize July 25 of every year as the Palestinian Traditional Dress and Heritage Day and we call on UNESCO to document our traditional dress as Palestinian in its records," Abu Shawish said.

Children in Gaza came out to the march in homemade Palestinian tradtional dress(MaanImages/File)

Young men in Gaza performed "Dakba," a traditional Palestinian dance popular at weddings and celebrations(MaanImages/File)
Comments
@ The Editor / Bravo
Finally you've published a Palestinian story that does
Not involve knives, guns, bombs, rockets, or tunnels !!
25/07/2015 21:03
Joe Fattal / USA
Its a nice to see there is a bright side in every bad situation. Life, tradition and someone's heritage has to keep on going regardless of the situation as sad as it can be. I am not a fashion expert, but there are very attractive women in the crowd.
25/07/2015 21:41
Hanan / Al Quds, Palestine
Our heritage will always be Palestinian. However it is important that our traditions, such as our national dress and dance (dakba) are preserved and passed on. I hope UNESCO documents every aspect of Palestinian culture and that every 25th July will be Palestinian Traditional Dress and Heritage Day.
26/07/2015 23:13
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