Crafts council gets endorsement


Sharjah: Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council, an initiative under the Women Advancement Establishment (Nama), will develop an operational mandate following an endorsement by Shaikha Jawaher Bint Mohammad Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah.

The newly launched organisation has been established to foster the entrepreneurial attributes of women working in the creative fields, in particular the area of traditional heritage crafts, and to enhance their opportunities in the economic, professional and social spheres in the UAE and across the region.

“Under the patronage of Shaikha Jawaher, we are delighted to announce that Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council has received an official mandate that endorses its work focused on the empowerment of women. Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council forms part of Nama’s vision to create a structure of organisations and programmes that are dedicated to elevating the role of women and rewarding their endeavours within the craft sector, particularly those keeping traditional crafts alive for present and future generations,” said Amerah Bin Karam, Vice Chairperson of Nama and Chairperson of Sharjah Business Women Council.

She added that Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council aims to empower women across the region through the revival and modernisation of traditional crafts.

The council has a remit to capacity build at a number of levels, including providing resources and physical infrastructure, creating semi-commercial platforms, forging partnerships and establishing wide-reaching vocational and educational programmes that support the development of both heritage and contemporary crafts.

The council showcases the craft skills of women through international exhibitions and trade fairs, as well as working with renowned institutions and brands to incorporate traditional handiwork into their designs.

Irthi also plans to have its online and physical concept store, ‘House of Irthi’, that will feature its own range of luxury fashion, accessories and homeware products in collaboration with international and UAE designers and brands that support the crafts, providing a high-level platform and revenue source for the craftspeople of the region.