What does Taita Leila mean?

Taita (Taita:/tə-tä/ [noun]) is a colloquial Arabic term of endearment for grandmother mostly used in the Levantine countries like Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine.

Leila is a popular Arabic name for women that means "night".

Who is Taita Leila?

Taita Leila refers to Leila Hussein Fakhri Khalidi, the author of the book “The Art of Palestinian Embroidery.”

She was head librarian at the PLO Research Centre in Beirut from 1971 to 1978. She then joined SAMED (the Palestinian Martyrs’ Works Society), founding the Society’s Central Library and heading a research unit for Folklore and Folk Arts and Crafts. Her efforts resulted, in late 1981, in recognition of the PLO Research Centre Library as the national library of the Palestinian people, and, in 1986, in the establishment of a folk museum collection within SAMED. At present she is involved in several committees based in Amman dealing with Jerusalem issues of identity, education, culture and access and movement.

Her grandchildren affectionately call her Taita Leila.

Why is Taita Leila referred to as a social enterprise?

In addition to providing you with unique clothes inspired by Palestine’s heritage, we aim to support the women in the West Bank who lovingly hand-stitch each piece. By commissioning a set number of orders from each embroiderer, we provide the women with a reliable income and empower them to plan for their financial future.

Who does Taita Leila work with?

Our clothes are made in the West Bank of Palestine, we source the fabrics from local factories, work with vendors in the region, and commission women from villages, refugee camps and women’s societies to hand-embroider the designs. For more specifics about our partners, please get in touch.

Where does Taita Leila get her stories?

The stories are collated from a variety of sources, including “The Art of Palestinian Embroidery”, with a focus of pre-Nakba styles (before the year 1948), but we have also used various other books, exhibitions, museums and even first-hand accounts. A full list of all of our references is available for download in our Inspiration page.

Where can we buy from Taita Leila?

All of the pieces are sold online through our website. We occasionally do pop-up shops in different markets around the world. Follow us on social media and sign up to our newsletter to know when and where we will make our next appearance.

Why crowdfunding?

Because of the nature of our work, crowdfunding allows us to plan our activities better. The artisan women can be commissioned for a large order that they prefers to fulfil in one batch. This also allows us to minimise waste and make slight customisations in design.

Does Taita Leila ship worldwide?

Yes, we ship worldwide. Tracking information will be shared once the package has reached the courierCheck out our Returns & Shipping page for more information.  

Does Taita Leila accept customised orders?

During the crowdfunding campaign, slight customisations might be possible. For example, trousers that are made from white fabric may be made instead with black fabric, or the slit of a maxi skirt can be sewn up. We recommend you get in touch with your enquiry before placing your order. 

What does Taita Leila do with the information I share?

We take your privacy very seriously. Any information you share with us is only used to fulfil your order. Take a look at our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service for more information.