The Beauty of Needlework

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Embroidery has long since been part of the Lebanese heritage of handicrafts. There are some kinds of embroideries like the Oya that most probably have been acquired at the time of the Ottoman Empire. Embroidery in Lebanon is not considered to be a craft as all families, whether peasants, villagers or city-dwellers, practiced it as well as crochet, thus perpetuating ancestral traditions. The young ladies were most hard-working as they had to start preparing their trousseau as of their tenth year. The latter had to contain both embroidery for personal use such as veils, undergarments and dresses, and embroidery items for household use: window, cupboard and closet curtains, bed covers, protective covers for sofas and tablecloths.

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Taking Pride in our Heritage

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Things we never thought

Thoughts we never think

Things we put behind

Things we never find

Things we never forget

Never wondering why

Times that we forget

And things we burry behind

Things that we miss

Are easily found


Things we never hide are our

Heritage, Roots, and Pride


Youmna Medlej is a photojournalist born in 1956. She studied photography in France and started making reportages on geographic and historical landmarks upon her return to Lebanon,  as a way for Lebanese to rediscover their country after the war. But it was during her participation in Solidere’s excavations in the early 1990s that she discovered and developed her passion for heritage and archeology. At the time, the market was virtually devoid of heritage-oriented material. She thus resolved to introduce the young and old readers to the most prominent cultural and historic icons of their country.

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