January Update (part two)

Screenshot of an interview with my mother, circa 1991. Many of those that participated in our fundraising campaign for the Tatreez & Tea Book Project have begun following Yaffaweya this past week.  Ahlan wa sahlan! I hope that my updates bring you satisfaction in knowing that the project is moving forward, rapidly.

By following this site, you will also be notified when I post a new poem. As I'm writing this book, I find that I'm processing and reflecting on events of the past, and this process can become very emotional. When I feel this way, I try to break away from the book and write a poem instead. Writing poetry allows me to focus on the embroidery in the book, rather than anything else. One of my poems, titled "Goodbye Damascus", was recently published by Riwayya: A Space for Collision. It was the first poem I've ever published.

In this update, I'd like to share with you some upcoming plans as it relates to Tatreez & Tea.

Since the Regional Arts and Culture Council, Brooklyn Arts Council and Clackamas County Arts Alliance have awarded my mother and I with grant funding that has fulfilled our ideal project budget -- we have started to book travel and align resources. Now that the financial aspect of this project is no longer an object, we are very grateful and excited to move as quickly as we can to get this book published.

My next research trip is scheduled for March 2016. During this trip, I plan to finalize the manuscript for the book and spend time at the studio photographing all of the embroidery we will feature in the book. The studio I've selected in Portland offers some space with natural light, so I feel confident we will capture the embroidery beautifully.

The manuscript is set to be complete by the end of February, with revisions being made in early March. By the end of March, the manuscript will be in editing allowing me to work on other parts of the project such as creating the book website and editing the photographs.

The book cover is currently in its final revisions, and I am very excited to share it with you in the near future. The artist, Jumana, is a very talented, Palestinian artist based out of Chicago. Many of her illustrations can be found in her Etsy store, "Watan". Before I invited her to collaborate with me on the book project, I was looking through her store to buy something (everything!). I saw that one of the illustrations she was selling was a woman wearing a thobe with Palestinian embroidery on it, and carrying a cup of tea. It was a perfect match. Jumana's work is remarkable, and I am very proud of our collaboration.

The first book project update was posted last week, regarding my research trip in September 2015. I will share another  update next month.