Socially responsible Lebanon
Supporting the art of weaving
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.”