Image: Garland Magazine
Today, we express our deepest and sincere condolences to the family and friends of Dr Ghada Hijjawi-Qaddumi, who sadly died last week.
Dr Hijjawi- Qaddumi, who’s name was part and parcel of the fabric of the World Craft Council since 2004, was the first Arab to be elected president of the WWC–Asia Pacific Region, in 2013. After a long and successful term — in which she pioneered projects to elevate awareness and appreciation of crafts as an integral part of cultural, social and economic life in the six Asian and Pacific regions — she was reelected in 2017, and then subsequently elected as the first Arab woman President of the World Craft Council International (AISBL) earlier this year.
A Kuwaiti national, born in Nablus-Palestine, she completed a PhD on the History of Islamic Art and Architecture at Harvard University, and also studied at the American University of Beirut and Lebanese American University. As well as a long career as director and curator of several museums, including the Islamic Art Museum, Kuwait National Museum, she was also a writer and translator. One of her publications, the Book of Gifts and Rarities, is a translation and study of a 9th – 15th century manuscript that offers a wealth of information into the period immediately preceding Islam and the gifts exchanged between Islamic rulers and their foreign counterparts. More recently she utilised her expertise and knowledge of Iranian handicrafts to edit Islamic Textiles, published by the Kuwait Islamic Arts Center in 2011. Following this, she received the Gulf Cooperation Council Award for Achievements in the field of Antiquities and Museums.
Dr Hijjawi- Qaddumi dedicated her life to the championing and preservation of craft around the globe. This work also included taking the time to be a part of the selection committee for the Selvedge World Fair, which all of us here are very grateful for. Founder Polly Leonard says, “Her enthusiasm and passion were contagious, and it is a privilege to have known her”.