Sanaa El Habbash

A lot on your Plate, Empty Pockets, Patches of Palestine

The project ‘A lot on your Plate’ details 22-year-old Hazaar Azi’s journey to Ireland. The plate is representative of the strong role food, and the sharing of food, plays within Palestinian culture, and the endless repeating pattern points to the repetition of history.

For the project ‘Empty Pockets’, I cross-stitched a series of aerial view maps showcasing the most populated Palestinian refugee camps – where the embroidering tradition is mainly practised – in Gaza, the West Bank, and Jordan. As the embroidering craft in Palestinian camps is often a result of necessity, empty pockets references the poverty affecting Palestinians and the consuming feeling of emptiness that comes with displacement.

For my final project ‘Patches of Palestine’, I asked Palestinians what they believe makes Palestine beautiful. Inspired by the patchwork in Palestinian thobes (dresses), I then hand-stitched patterns onto patches reflecting food, pottery, and other areas mentioned in the answers I received. The final outcome is a quilt made up of 58 patches, representing the 58 registered refugee camps.

"A lot on your Plate" full plate

"A lot on your Plate" traditional Palestinian breakfast

"Empty Pockets" cross-stitch closeup

"Empty Pockets" embroidered aerial views + labels

"Empty Pockets" embroidered aerial views + labels

"Empty Pockets" labels front cover

"Empty Pockets" labels copy

"Patches of Palestine" full quilt

"Patches of Palestine" closeup

"Patches of Palestine" details and border