Al Mushrif-based Women’s Handicraft Center is an art project run by the Abu Dhabi Women’s Association as a showcase of local art and crafts. The small indoor museum is an opportunity to explore and learn about the handicrafts of local artists. There is also a store on site.
The circular buildings near the museum are workshops where female artists produce distinctive Arabian oil, handmade monuments, incense, local costumes, silver thread work, and weaving. You must remove your shoes before entering each booth, and request permission to take pictures.
The hennaed hands move cunningly, up and down, up and down, moving seven wheels of cotton and silk with a rope to tie a long line. Khous’s gold threads sparkle as the artist’s quick fingers create this centuries-old Emirati handicraft. It requires great concentration, patience, and care to ensure that the weaving process – used to adorn the chest and arms of traditional Kandir women – is flawless. Completing kandura using this traditional art can take a month, making it almost like couture in its making. The skilled weaver is surrounded by a group of 10 other women, all chatting happily, wearing green, green, and pink candies, with black beaded veils, and battoulah. Some weave talli, while others weave al sadu wool, a traditional form of weaving everywhere in the Emirates even today. Other crafts shown include intricate rugs made of palm leaves and used as rodents and food wrappers.
The artists are part of the Women’s Handicraft Center, founded by the General Women’s Union (GWU) in Abu Dhabi in 1978, under the chairmanship of HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak. GWU is the official representative of Emirati women, taking an active interest in all aspects of women’s health, from their health to education, family counseling, and law. Today, under the leadership of HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, these projects are widely expanded and GWU seeks to build the capacity of women, in partnership with UN Women, to enable them to enter all sectors, including technology and the UAE government. Part of the GWU’s mandate is to preserve the country’s unique heritage, which is a cause close to the heart of HE Noura Al Suwaidi, GWU’s director-general. “The best way to ensure the survival of our values is to mix them with modernity, to rejuvenate them,” said Al Suwaidi. Since her appointment 20 years ago, Al Suwaidi has worked under the direction of HH Sheikha Fatima to support women of all nationalities in the UAE.
The Women’s Handicraft Center includes a permanent exhibition center featuring the symbols of everyday life that reflect the history of the world – from how often women used to prepare for their wedding, to what perfumes and beauty products abounded throughout the years. All aspects of daily life at the Emirates are on display, showcasing the rich history, and art of the people who use their completely dry environment. The millstones became flour, the ground was weaved al weaver, the weavers were made into camels and wool, and the spice used for healing all told a story. Here, the 70 strange women who are part of the institute can showcase their skills while leading and protecting time-honored crafts. They work from 9 to 1 every day, building a happy community where they share laughter and stories while making their own intricate products. Many of them – in their 30s, the oldest of whom never knew their age because they never had a birth certificate – came to the center thanking the government, while others have been treating for decades, earning money they could not afford. i could. While some have been taught handicrafts by their mothers or grandmothers, others learn them at the institute, becoming proficient in all the techniques before choosing the one they do best and want to use. Oum Ali is one of the artists, who praises the institution for enabling him to provide for his family. “My husband died when our children were very young. I am very grateful to Sheikha Fatima for giving me this opportunity to do this work, so that I can have a dignified life, ”he shared. The group also includes people who are committed, purposeful and loving society where they can incorporate national culture.
“Women are still attached to their heritage,” Al Suwaidi said. “They do not stop wearing talli or cotton mokhour in their daily lives. They always light up their traditional costumes with embellishments. The Emirati wedding ceremony is not complete unless the bride swims next to her groom wearing a traditional green dress. ”
GWU showcases these handicrafts whenever official delegates visit the country, as well as shipping products to Emirates diplomats around the world. But handicrafts are not just shared in legal work – many young people today have a renewed interest in their heritage, and are curious about their modern applications. Recent visits by construction students have led some of them to incorporate crafts into their final projects in new ways. School children and students often visit the center, and GWU has recently signed an agreement with the Department of Education so that female student can visit GWU to meet its women and see their handicrafts. The annual traditional costume competition also attracts a lot of entries, reflecting the interest of the next generation in culture. “We are preparing to establish an industrial center to teach more women the traditional arts of the Emirati,” said Al Suwaidi. “GWU is trying to save the UAE’s assets and ensure its survival by passing it on to the next generation. The values are not only the past but also the present. ”