Feryal Abbasi-Ghnaim



Birthplace: Safad, Palestine

Birthdate: 6/26/45
Religion: Muslim
Ethnic Background: Palestinian


Describe your traditional skill/craft/art, when and why it is done, and your history with it:

Palestinian embroidery has a long history back to thousands of years, women documented their lives through this art, telling stories of the events that they lived through, history, political events, geography describing the nature around them, teaching the generations about the beauty an hazard of the surroundings, sending messages to each other through embroidery (using needle and thread). When reading and writing were not available. I was seven years old when I started doing it.

How and from whom was the tradition learned?

From my mother and grandmother and the women around me. I learned the embroidery of the age of the seven years old learning stories behind the embroidery. It was very hard for other women to teach their daughters the art considering the Palestinian lives in the exile. I carried a mission to help the other young Palestinians to learn it starting with my own daughters.

How, when, why did you come to Oregon:

As a Palestinian refugee, which I was looking for a better life for my family, I immigrated to the USA in the year 1980 after I got married. First I lived in Boston, Massachusetts for ten years then I came to Oregon in the year 1989 for what we heard of better weather and family style which more like our own back home, and it was worth it.

Any other biographical information (awards, honors, presentation, etc.):

I am married with three daughters, at least two of them had high college degrees, my husband is a banker. I got some recognitions and awards: Massachusetts Folk Art Award 1985-86, Oregon Folk Apprenticeship Award: 1993, 1995.

I participated in numerous events and festival in Massachusetts and Oregon, taught the art in several schools (public) in Massachusetts and Oregon, attended training through Folk Art of Oregon to teach in the classrooms and the at-risk kids. Training through IRCO and many more events.

Contact Information

Phone: 503-652-0187
Address: 8730 SE 29th Ave, Milwaukie, OR 97222
Email: feryalabgh@hotmail.com
Website: http://feryalabbasighnaim.wordpress.com/

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