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UNRWA Sulafa Embroidery Project

Embroidered  shawls, scarves, and make-up purses.
Beneficiaries: 400 women from 8 refugee camps in Gaza Strip. 

UNRWA Sulafa Embroidery Project is located in Gaza City and provides income generating opportunities for hundreds of refugee women through a network of 9 community centers across the Strip.  Sulafa is a nonprofit project established by UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees) in 1950 as a part of the Social Service Programme. 

Women in Gaza have been bearing an increasing burden of supporting their families.  Although it is labor-intensive and time-consuming work, thousands of women are willing to embroider as many stitches as they can while juggling household responsibilities, in exchange for a wage that would afford basic subsistence for their families' survival. 

Sulafa Embroidery Project aims to provide income for the Strip's refugee women and to ensure that the traditional art form of embroidery is kept alive.  Women, by receiving the embroidery work, earn an average of $40 per month, a significant amount in the area where a majority of people live below the poverty line ($2/day per household).

Sulafa's shawls, with their elegant style and striking geometric patterns, have been the top-sales item at Sunbula for many years.  Gazan women's artisanship and resilient spirits against all odds are reflected in the beauty of their products.

Contact UNRWA Sulafa Embroidery Project
Mustafa Hafez Street
near Rehabilitation Centre for Visually Impaired
Gaza Strip via Israel
Tel/Fax: +972-(0)8-677-7388
Hind El-Arabi, Program Officer:

View their products on Sunbula Online Craft Market


Somaiya Abu Awdeh (right), who manages Sulafa, says the project often runs out of fabrics and threads because the hermetic closure prevents goods from entering the Strip.

Sulafa is located in Gaza City, where embroidered pieces are brought in from refugee camps across the Strip and sewn into finished products.

A woman puts a finishing touch to Sulafa's renowned embroidered shawl.

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