So­cially re­spon­si­ble Le­banon

Sup­port­ing the art of weav­ing

Lebanon Traveler - - CONTENTS -

Wick­er­work cen­ters, which once pop­u­lated Le­banon, are be­com­ing harder to come by in our rapidly mod­ern­iz­ing coun­try. How­ever, there are still a few or­ga­ni­za­tions that have up­held this tra­di­tional craft and have used it as a means of em­pow­er­ing sev­eral com­mu­ni­ties.

One such or­ga­ni­za­tion is La Maison de l’ar­ti­san, which is work­ing with over 500 ar­ti­sans from around Le­banon to sup­port lo­cal work and tra­di­tional hand­i­crafts. They em­power lo­cal crafts­men and women by sup­port­ing small busi­nesses and sell­ing their hand­made prod­ucts in their on­line store. La Maison de l’ar­ti­san sells a va­ri­ety of wicker bas­kets that are hand wo­ven by Le­banese into beau­ti­ful and in­tri­cate prod­ucts.

Bas­ket mak­ing and weav­ing has also found a place among some of Le­banon’s most vul­ner­a­ble pop­u­la­tions, namely the stu­dents of the Le­banese School for the Blind and Deaf (LSBD). The school trains its stu­dents in vo­ca­tional skills to help them gain employment. They host work­shops in var­i­ous ar­ti­sanal skills for stu­dents, like tra­di­tional bas­ket mak­ing and weav­ing. The LSBD’S ex­hi­bi­tion cen­ter shows the re­mark­able abil­i­ties of the less able-bod­ied.

This is the base­line of the Al Kafaat, Nadeem & Lily Sh­wayri Foun­da­tion. The self-sus­tained so­cial en­ter­prise is run by the hand­i­capped, who en­gage in bas­ket and chair weav­ing among many other crafts and ser­vices. Al Kafaat spe­cial­izes in cre­at­ing prod­ucts that have a twist on tra­di­tional crafts, pro­duc­ing beau­ti­ful and thought­ful pieces. Crafts­men with spe­cial skills con­trib­ute to the growth of so­ci­ety, liv­ing Nadeem Sh­wayri’s phi­los­o­phy: “As long as his heart beats and his eyes shine, man still has a mission and a role in this world.”

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