Hand made in Gaza by Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children.
Originating from the Palestinian village of al-Majdal Asqalan (today the Israeli city Ashkelon), Majdalawi fabric is woven on single treadle looms. The original weave used black and indigo cotton threads accented by bands of turquoise and fuchsia silk threads symbolizing heaven and hell. Today, the 100% cotton fabric is woven at Gaza-based Atfaluna Crafts, and at the Arts and Crafts Village in Gaza City as part of a cultural preservation project.
The Society was founded in 1992; its aim is empowering deaf youth in the Gaza strip and improving their quality of life through vocational training and job creation. Thousands of deaf children and their families are served by Atfaluna (Arabic, our children) through deaf education, audiology, special therapy, income generating programmes and vocational training. Atfaluna Crafts, established in 1998 has 5 departments. It employs 51 mainly deaf people and provides essential income to more than 350 very needy people and their families through their work from home programme. Exporting goods remains a serious problem, as it can take months for Israel to allow a box of handcrafts to leave Gaza. Our grants to Atfaluna include: 2009 for some repair work after the bombing during “Operation Cast Lead” when almost all windows and frames were destroyed; 2014 contributing £2000 to a programme which enabled some of the artisans to obtain glasses much needed especially when working on black material; and in 2016, $3000 for materials for home workers.