Have You Ever Heard the Sound of Thread?
A graduate at QF transforms the art of Palestinian embroidery into melodies about her homeland
Ever longing for her roots, and being in love with the Palestinian embroidery patterns, Naima Al-Majdobah - a VCUarts Qatar 2022 graduate - embarked on a project that allows people to hear the art of Palestinian embroidery as we see it.
To dive deeper into the history of Palestinian embroidery, Naima interviewed many women from Palestine and Jordan about the origins of each pattern and what it reflects culturally.
After joining a class called Sonic Explorations, Naima used the info she gathered from books and interviews to develop a library of patterns, composed by redrawing embroidery stitch by stitch using Ableton Live App which she discovered during her class.
The App transforms visual patterns into audio files with slight changes to the instrument combination. Due to their unique shapes, each pattern was able to be distinguished from others by subtle differences, giving it its unique melody and impression.
Naima wanted to tell the world about the unique crafts, aesthetic beauty and deep traditions that create the culture of Palestine, which is often lost in the narrative of the Israel-Palestine conflict.
“With everything nowadays being colonized, I aspire to preserve emphasize the origin of the Palestinian patterns. You can find these patterns on Nike shoes, on shirts that people wear, but no one knows these are in fact Palestinian art, except a few,” said Naima
Naima hopes to educate her generation about a craft which used to get passed down through generations. “Because of technology and social media, people are not keen on learning as before. And I wish my project can help keep it alive”.
Naima conducted workshops about her project for her colleagues in the Graphic Design stream and learned the craft herself and hopes she can pass it on to her children and grandchildren.
Al Majdobah wrote a book under the same name of her project titled “The Sound of Thread”, where she gathered all the information she collected from books and interviews as a tangible reference about Palestinian embroidery.
Naima’s project linked the Palestinian embroidery patterns with their hometowns of Jaffa, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Gaza, Jerusalem and Beersheba, bringing sound and sight together to create an experience that carries thousands of untold tales about Palestine.