Irthi announces 2nd edition of Artisa Skills Exchange Programme

November 04, 2021 / 1:19 PM
Sharjah24: After the resounding success of the debut edition of the Skills Exchange Programme by Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council (Irthi), an affiliate of NAMA Women Advancement Establishment (NAMA), the entity is offering craftswomen in the UAE a unique opportunity to learn Pakistani embroidery skills from renowned designer Rizwan Beyg, and partake in a skills and cultural exchange with members of Pakistan’s female artisan community who will be joining them for the new edition of the programme.
At the newly opened Irthi Skills Development Centre - Kalba which currently provides vocational training in the Emirati crafts of Talli and Safafah, female artisans of all nationalities and age groups across the UAE can develop their skills and expertise in exquisite Pakistani embroidery under Irthi’s Skills Exchange Programme. The in-person training and practice sessions will be held at Irthi Skills Development Centre - Kalba and the lessons will be conducted in Arabic.

This course targets girls and women in the Kalba and Khorfakkan and its surrounding areas, upon completion of which the Irthi Skills Development Centre - Kalba will host more skills development programmes to take forward its goal of empowering women through the crafts.

Those who wish to participate need to register their interest at Irthi Skills Development Centre - Kalba before November 10. The programme begins in mid-November and will run for six months. 

Reem BinKaram: This programme is a unique platform we have created in order to preserve indigenous crafts
Commenting on the new edition at the newly opened Irthi Skills Development Centre - Kalba, Her Excellency Reem BinKaram, Director, NAMA said: “We are pleased to continue creating value through Irthi’s Skills Exchange Programme, and are very excited to have Rizwan Beyg back on board with us for this new edition. This programme is a unique platform we have created in order to preserve indigenous crafts of not just the UAE but of collaborating nations by training craftswomen from both sides and elevating their skills in a way that makes traditional local crafts economically viable and marketable.”

“Looking at the spectacular results we achieved with the conclusion of the inaugural edition of the Skills Exchange Programme held in our Bidwa Centre in Dibba Al Hisn, that is, the launch of an embroidery collection comprising over 25 contemporary designs of Emirati embroidery fused with Pakistani techniques of Aari and needlework, we were firm in our decision to announce a new edition under the directives and support of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of NAMA, Founder and Royal Patron of Irthi. This furthers Irthi’s goals to benefit more women in the artisan communities of both nations by upskilling and finding them sustainable sources of income,” added BinKaram.     

Kalba’s craftswomen to gain high-level skills and reach new markets with Rizwan Beyg     
Women who sign up for the programme at Irthi Skills Development Centre - Kalba, will be learning the skills of different types of Pakistani embroidery under the tutelage of one of Pakistan’s leading designers, Rizwan Beyg, whose pioneering work in redefining the craft and making them globally appealing and marketable has spurred the nation’s dying cottage industry to a new era of growth.  

A group of Pakistani craftswomen will be accompanying Beyg to the UAE to participate in the programme, and will be introduced to traditional UAE crafts, namely: Safafah (palm frond weaving) and Talli (handwoven braids).

The training sessions will be aimed at creating a new narrative for the participating artisans and creating future role models out of them in both communities. They have been designed to deliver a sustainable economic impact by creating sustainable income opportunities for women in the two countries through the creation of global market demand for the range of contemporary products the artisans produce using their newly developed crafts skills. 

Apart from the exchange of technical skills of weaving between the two communities, the programme seeks key outcomes including empowering participants with soft skills of leadership and communication, social entrepreneurship and career planning. 

A part of the programme will focus on enabling Irthi Skills Development Centre – Kalba’s cohort to successfully cascade their knowledge and skills to other female artisans in the UAE on a near-peer basis, upon the completion of the edition. The same skills will be taught to the Pakistani participants as well. The programme will also feature a cultural dialogue between craftswomen from both nations, which will form the basis for their economic and social development.

November 04, 2021 / 1:19 PM

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