Safawi Women's Charity

Safawi Women's Charity

Al-Khuzama Weal Nafal Safawi Women's Charity is a non-profit organization that was established in 2005 created to meet the needs of the women in the Bedouin region of Jordan, specifically those in Safawi village near the Iraqi border. The association was created with the intention to help women enhance their role in society and be part of active discussions in their community in the midst of the Iraq border’s closing during the Iraq War. A lot of businesses had been dependent on the patronage of Iraqi travelers at the time, and the border shut-down threatened the livelihoods of many in the region. Safawi Women's Charity served to support and improve the lives of these families in that time, while also serving to revive the Bedouin identity by empowering the village women to take the lead in creating a larger tourism industry, through the marketing and sale of Bedouin handicraft products.

Safawi Women's Charity has faced many challenges since its inception including struggles with marketing, its distance from city centers, shortage of local transportation methods, and lack of employment opportunities for women and youth. Despite these problems, the organization continues to thrive and positively impact the lives of the Bedouin women they work with.

Safawi Women's Charity sells a wide variety of traditional Bedouin products such as carpets, pillows, bags, tents, and traditional Bedouin bone fractures and hunting bands. All products are 100% handmade from start to finish-- even the thread is locally produced and dyed using natural materials. The village women complete all of the weaving themselves using a horizontal loom and native weaving techniques, making their products all the more special and authentic.

Since the beginning of Safawi Women's Charity, the young Bedouin women have learned to engage more effectively in community discussions. The Bedouin culture traditionally gives elders the greatest role in community matters, excluding youth and women entirely. The organisation has become a platform for young voices to engage in their community and be a part of the discussion. Further, by reviving traditional Bedouin handicrafts, the organization hopes to preserve Bedouin heritage and identity to be passed smoothly to the younger generations of Bedouins. This is especially important in a time where globalization is taking the attention of the youth and threatening traditional identity.

Finally, the work itself also provides the women with a creative outlet, allowing them a means of self-expression through the artistic process of choosing colors, deciding on patterns, and physically crafting these works of traditional art.

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