World Embroidery Series: Syrian Cross-Stitch

A Virtual Class with Wafa Ghnaim

City dwellers, farmers and nomadic communities, whether Arab, Kurdish, Armenian, Turkish, Muslim, Christian or Jewish, all have made their unique contributions to the colorful mosaic of Syria’s arts and craft traditions. Textiles woven in silks using various striped, bold, vibrant and ikat patterns, have a centuries-old tradition in Aleppo, Hama, Homs and Damascus. Dresses, coats and jackets with various embroidery techniques of geometric patterns display the origins of the women who wear them. In this class, Wafa shares the endangered cross-stitch technique of Syrians who for many centuries have specialized in the ornamentation of dress. The class will revive the long lost textile traditions of Fortress of Simeon, Qalaat Samaan (قلعة سمعان), one of the oldest surviving churches located in northwest of Aleppo.

Thursday, April 13th, 2023


12pm – 2:30pm EST

Zoom, a link will be send to participants the day before class

$60 for the individual class, $350 for the series

*This session will be recorded. A link to the recording will be emailed to all those who register following the live session. This link is live for one month for you to watch at your convenience.


  • 11 or 14 count Aida Cloth
  • Size 8 Pearl Cotton Thread, any shade of red, traditionally deep red (such as 814 or 498)
  • Size 22-24 tapestry needle
  • Embroidery scissors

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Wafa Ghnaim

Wafa Ghnaim is a Palestinian researcher, author and educator who began learning embroidery from her mother, award-winning artist Feryal Abbasi-Ghnaim, when she was two years old. Her first book, “Tatreez & Tea: Embroidery and Storytelling in the Palestinian Diaspora” (2018), documents the traditional patterns and stories passed on to her by her mother. Wafa has since become a leading educator in the field as the first-ever Palestinian embroidery instructor at the Smithsonian Museum, Collections Specialist for the Museum of the Palestinian People in Washington, D.C., and a textile researcher for The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Palestinian and Syrian textile collections. Wafa continues her mother’s educational legacy through The Tatreez Institute (Tatreez & Tea), a global arts education initiative she began in 2016 teaching courses in-person and virtually and traveling the world to raise awareness about Palestinian & Syrian arts and culture. Wafa has been featured in major media outlets, recently featured in Vogue Magazine, naming her and her mother “the world’s leading guardians of tatreez”. Wafa currently resides in Washington, D.C.

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