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The Invaluable Value of Crafting

In a world that has moved to mass production in geographies where labour cost is affordable, I realize that it takes much more passion for creativity and love for your roots, to stay untouched by what would make business sense.

While my journey in the Arab world and through Arab design continues, I keep on discovering all those young designers who refuse to hand in their truth to the “cheaper” labour, somewhere far beyond the borders of their country. I keep on uncovering the local production in small Lebanese and Moroccan villages, where craftsmen are passing their technical skills through generations. I keep on reviving scenes from the past, where artisans are working together, while listening to the news and discussing politics. It seems unreal but it is the truth.

This is when I realize that these generations have become the inspiration of the younger Arab designers such as Aura Headpieces from Lebanon, Huwa from Egypt, or Hamimi from Morocco to name a few, who are not willing to sell their culture and creative past, in the name of a business decision. They are not willing to reveal the magical secret of creation to cultures that would not really comprehend where is this all coming from. Can really someone understand better the skull caps called taqiyah, worn by Moroccan men? Can machines replace the will power of the village women who handcraft jewellery and handbags in Egypt, while the food is being prepared and the kids are playing in the yards?    

These scenes are bringing life to the vison of our designers and certainly it cannot be valued in any way other than passion. It is clear that the benefits of most designers at go far beyond the financial. What keeps them alive and determined is their sense of purpose, the hope to connect to the world and hand in rare values that will keep making the world a more real and creative place to be.

 And the walk continues…





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