Traditional Bedouin carpet weaving comes alive

A Jordanian man preserves Bedouin carpet weaving while Bedouin women in the Israel Negev Desert, overcome obstacles to establish their own businesses.

Traditional Bedouin carpet weaving comes alive

World Bulletin / News Desk

.Khalil Nouri is a self-taught expert in traditional bedouin carpet weaving. He holds the belief that weaving is slowly a dying art in Jordan.

Recently he has written a book, and during the research encountered a number of obstacles, namely not being able to source evidence about bedouin crafts in Jordan. His book, completed in 2013, is called "Hands and Hearts", and took four years of research to complete and in it he documents "old Jordanian rugs before they were archived at the museum".

In an interview to the Jordan times, he maintains that the bedouin art deserves appreciation and acknowledgement, not only from scholars, but also from the wider public. He noted his passion after he travelled to Iran, Turkey and to Syria and spoke with various dealers who inspired him and then instilled in him the secrets of the dying craft. He bought various pieces such as tapestries, kilims and rugs - he would then sell them, then purchase more antiquated rugs, which then advanced his knowledge on texture.

“As a rug dealer searching for inventory, I progressed to realising more about our regional weaving, and to gain a clearer picture my collection grew to over 1,000 pieces, of which 150 pieces that represent approximately 23 Jordanian tribes were selected [for the book]" explains Nouri. At present, Naouri seeks to create a local NGO that works to establish centres in the countryside in order to empower local bedouin women to preserve the old art of weaving and become financially independent by selling their work.

His story is vastly different to the Bedouin women of the Israeli Negev desert. When their families were forced relocate to government built towsn, the women realised that their illiteracy and rule of mixing left them stunted in their progress in the modern world. 

As a result after twenty years of effort the Lakiya sisters, Khadra and Hanan Elsana established Sidreh - named after a tough desert tree. The center quickly established itself as an organiseation for women to practise the Bedouin art of weavng as well as educating women in Arabic, Hebrew and to earn a high school diploma. Some of the women have moved on to establish their own business or pursue higher education.

The center has enabled women to be confident enough to leave their home - and with the money made, allow the daughters to pursue an education. For a small fee, women at the centre demonstrate the weaving, allowing tourist groups to try their hand at the traditional craft. A trip to the center can also be arranged with other women only businesses such as the embroidery centre or to a centre called Desert Daughter, a centre for Bedouin natural healing remedies.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 05 Şubat 2015, 17:02