The Tatreez Institute
The Tatreez Institute (معهد التطريز), also known as Tatreez & Tea, is a Palestinian-led educational arts initiative focused on the preservation, documentation and research of textiles in the South West Asia & North Africa (SWANA) region. Embroidery, or tatreez (تطريز), is a centuries-old practice preserved through intergenerational exchange over a cup of tea, or shay (شاي). Inspired by generations of fiber artists, The Tatreez Institute continues the rich traditions of embroidery, textile and storytelling of Palestine, the Palestinian diaspora and Greater Syria from the United States.
In 2022, The Tatreez Institute was established to expand the scope of Wafa’s research into regional costumes beyond Palestine, produce more publications, as well as ensure that her documentation efforts can secure funding to continue. The Tatreez Institute was incorporated on her son’s fifth birthday, a meaningful symbol to Wafa that reminds her of the intergenerational impact of her work for Palestinians living in the diaspora.
The Tatreez Institute is founded in the belief that the study of embroidery and textiles in Palestine and Greater Syria cannot be divorced from its historical context. Anyone interested in joining the Tatreez & Tea community must stand unequivocally against the appropriation of arts and culture, for Palestinian liberation, and fight against the oppression of marginalized and oppressed communities equally. Individuals that are not able to meet this criteria must first build their activism and alliance, prior to joining the Tatreez & Tea community. The Tatreez Institute is not a service to the culturally curious— it is an active agent in fighting for Palestinian liberation. Therefore, The Tatreez Institute works to build an informed ally movement that stands against oppression, appropriation, and erasure — not just for Palestinians — but for all indigenous, BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities facing the same.