In a quiet corner of her home in the picturesque city of Dibba Al-Hisn, which is 130 kilometers from the center of the Emirate of Sharjah, Maryam Mohammed Ahmed Al Dhaheri (31 years) is sitting on her work, woven with balls of brightly colored cotton yarns, in which threads are intertwined. Shiny metal wicker in gold and silver.
Despite the health crisis facing the world today with the outbreak of the Corona virus, this did not prevent Maryam and her artisan colleagues at the Badawah Center for Social Development of the Heritage Council of Contemporary Crafts from continuing to work enthusiastically, even after the temporary closure of the center, located in the city of Dibba. Sharjah Fort.
Maryam is one of 66 artisan women working daily to produce traditional and international crafts at the Badwa Center for Social Development, before taking measures to socialize, today she and her colleagues joined 11 craftsmen who were continuing their work with the Badwa Center originally from home.
While the Badawah Center is characterized by a pleasant family atmosphere in which handicrafts exchange news and details of their lives, sweet and bitter, Mary today spends time working in an atmosphere of isolation, and follows a new creative way to accomplish her tasks from home, allocating a specific place to work, and specific times, helping her to increase her productivity "I work in the morning when the atmosphere of the house is quiet," Maryam says, "as it helps me focus better, increase the pace of production, and invest my energies to provide more pieces of the hill."
Sheikha Ali Al-Naqbi, who recently graduated from the craft exchange program, launched by "My Heritage" to train participants in Pakistani embroidery arts, is experiencing a similar experience, where she works in her quiet corner daily from eight in the morning until one in the afternoon, and rest for a short period, to recharge Its energy and recover its activity.
Alia Al-Dhanhani chose to work in the afternoon because she is quieter in her home, and talks about her experience saying: “Despite the changing pace of our work, this did not affect the quality because it is inherent in us and stems from our hearts. When I finish implementing the designs, forget what pain I am tired and feel energetic. ”
Bushra Mohammed Abdul Rahman, who works on a piece of Pakistani embroidery, has isolated herself in a separate room in the house to focus on her work. She says: “I always communicate with my colleagues and supervisors to feel as if I am still in the Badwa center, and we are still working together.”
A craft that goes home
Farah Nasri, assistant director - Evaluation and Design in the Heritage Council, says that “Al Tali” is a traditional Emirati craft that celebrates Emirati culture and was practiced by Emirati women in their homes for centuries, and the craftsmen have returned to practicing them today from their homes, even if temporarily. .
“After agreeing with the designers on the designs to be produced, the details are documented in the e-mail, then the center’s supervisors prepare the required quantities of materials with specific measurements, and choose the colors of the threads that are then individually placed in bags Sterile label bearing the name of the literal you will work on. She added, "We send the craftspeople additional videos and instructions, through a group through the WhatsApp application, to ensure effective coordination and management of production. Once the product is finished, the production team at the Badawah Center takes over the final product and delivers it to the center."
She pointed out that with the cancellation or postponement of many international exhibitions and events, in which "my legacy" would have participated, the Council is now working to introduce Emirati culture to international designers, by launching projects (from a distance), which will "provide the opportunity for the Council to move forward." In his message.
After UNESCO recently included Sharjah on its network of creative cities, which includes 65 cities around the world, the craftsmen of the Badwa Center, affiliated with the “Heritage Council”, continue this march of creative spirit through practicing and preserving traditional Emirati crafts. For future generations, to pursue innovative practices to develop new skills and broaden the horizons of their artistic talents.
“Badawah” craftsmen perform this task in different ways, as Alia Al-Dhanhani is keen to invest her spare time in fulfilling her passion for cooking and encouraging her daughters to learn traditional and modern cuisine, while her colleague Bushra Abdul Rahman is following on YouTube to learn videos of new stitches and techniques In choosing and coordinating colors, and is currently working on a new design that includes all stitches that I have previously learned.
Farah Nasri believes that «the house is the only place where we have full control now, so I see that the period of house isolation is the right time to invest in organizing the spaces around us to make them quieter and more inspiring. Some small adjustments, such as adding green plants and sculptures, or placing a unique chair or scented candle, will add life and comfortable atmosphere to this place, which we have now worked and lived in. ”