MEET THE SEP ARTIST SERIES - 5. THE STORY OF HALEEMA
Posted on November 10 2021
Written by Emmy Plaschy, emmy·in·the·mix
On a warm summer afternoon, I had the chance to meet and sit down with some of the artists who put magic into fabrics, embroidering century-old intricate patterns with dedication and passion, one stitch at a time. All of them live in the Gaza refugee camp in Jerash, Jordan. Life is not always easy to say the least, but they have mastered the art of looking at life through the eye of a child: with authenticity and a great sense of humour. Meet our bright and brave superhero #5, Haleema!
Emmy: Hi Haleema, can you tell us about yourself?
Haleema: I am Jordanian, from Irbid. I have 7 children! One of my daughters lives with us in the house.
Emmy: What about your husband?
Haleema: My husband is from the camp. He was a teacher, he is now retired. He hopes to be able to teach again in the centre that we hope SEP will open soon.
Emmy: What is your story with SEP?
Haleema: Before SEP, I had on and off embroidery-related work, but it was not stable. I worked from home. Then, in 2013, I joined SEP and worked on a project with designer Jamal Taslaq.
Emmy: What picture you would like to share with us?
Haleema: It is one of a personal achievement. In the 1970s, I made a beautiful thobe (editor’s note: a traditional embroidered dress), it took me a long time! I was wearing it yesterday on the occasion of my daughter’s engagement party. I still wear it a lot.
Emmy: In your opinion, what could make things better?
Haleema: I want to launch a cooking project. I wish I was younger to have more energy!
My life is already much better life since I started working at SEP. I managed to pay tuition for my children, my 2 daughters graduated from university. Now they have a future: they have jobs and they will get married.
Emmy: What is your hope for the future?
Haleema: I hope SEP continues to grow, to develop and becomes successful all over the world!