Suleiman Jibril Abu Taima challenges gender norms in Gaza by practicing traditional embroidery.
Usually done by women, embroidery is a cherished part of Palestinian heritage.
Abu Taima was displaced from his home in Khan Younis in the south of Gaza, during Israel’s 2014 assault on the Gaza Strip and forced to seek refuge in a school run by UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees, where he taught girls how to embroider.
More than 2,250 Palestinians were killed during that assault – about one in every 1,000 Gaza residents. Israeli fatalities included more than 60 soldiers and six civilians.
Abu Taima faced social judgments for taking up embroidery during that time, and he stopped practicing it until he met his fiancee Ferial Fisefas, who encouraged him to continue.
“Israel is trying to obliterate the Palestinian cause and Palestinian heritage,” Abu Taima told The Electronic Intifada, which is why he says he holds on to it.
Video by Amjad Ayman Yaghi, Sanad Ltefa and Ismail Abu Hatab.