Masalama or Goodbye – Dr Keireine Canavan

I can’t believe it is time to say ‘Masalama’ or Goodbye….. even though currently I  can’t leave Kuwait and fly back to UK,  due to the Icelandic volcanic disruption and  no planes flying into Europe or UK airspace!

My bags are packed with all my books, equipment, textiles, Arabic coffee and dates  (no room for  practical things like clothing or shoes) and my precious MacBook Air –  without which I would certainly have neck or back ache, as it has been my  companion everywhere I have travelled during the past 9 months.

The last phase of the work was so incredibly intensive, trying to squeeze so much        into every waking moment, that I abandoned my blog and my daily swim, for which  I apologise and regret, respectively.

A trip back to UK to examine a PhD Viva, and a visit to the National Museums  Scotland, to see the Sadu Textile Collection in Edinburgh, broke a certain working  rhythm and time ran away from me for the last six weeks.  I managed to maintain  my Arabic lessons, which caused so much fun with my Arab friends, as I practiced  my pronunciation and vocabulary.  But when an opportunity for Dr Ali Alnajadah and myself to research and document the entire textile collection at the Kuwait National Museum, thanks to the Museum’s Director, Mr Shehab al-Shehab, it was too good to miss, and provided an academic balance and credence to the Sadu House Permanent Collection investigation.  But ….. it  took many days and much energy in sweltering hot conditions, during the last few weeks; but what a treasure trove of pure delight!

There have been many farewells (pictured with Sheikha Altaf Al-Sabah and Dr Ali), and many things have drawn to a temporary close with time now for serious analysis and reflection; but more about that next time…. that is if the planes start flying and I ever leave Kuwait.

Talking about rug weaving in Asia, Lee Allane wrote ‘…weaving is the chosen and often the only medium for recording the religious, social and cultural beliefs of several nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes…… As such, it represents the only current example of ‘high art’ as a totally female preserve’.





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2 responses to “Masalama or Goodbye – Dr Keireine Canavan

  1. Hello Keireine.
    I had the pleasure of meeting your Aunt at a feltmaking event recently and we got talking about weaving and she mentioned you and the Sadu weaving research you were doing. I would love to find out a little more about your work and wonder if you have published any papers on your findings. I was also curious to see that you had travelled to Edinburgh to see samples there …is this a private collection or open to the public ? I can’t seem to find out much about it and would love to go and see some of the work if possible.
    I wish you well
    Liz Brown

    • alsaduweaving

      Hi Liz, I have published conference papers and am currently working on a book. Please feel free to contact me if I can help with anything in particular. The Sadu textile collection in Scotland is only open with prior arrangements. Let me know if you need contacts? I am regularly speaking at conferences – here in UK and abroad.

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