Gaza: Two engineers use their artistic talent to make Ramadan decorations

Gaza: Two engineers use their artistic talent to make Ramadan decorations

Gaza – Anatolia: The two architects, Basma Kishko and Rana Al-Kurdi, who specialize in interior designs and decoration, succeeded in combining work in the university specialization with the manufacture of handicrafts using fabrics.
Both areas require a high artistic sense, and a simulation of modernity and development, which seems smooth to the two engineers who gained design and decoration experience about 14 years ago.
The two engineers are trying to keep up with the handicrafts they make with brightly colored fabrics with the annual occasions, as well as merging them with the interior decoration of customers’ homes.
In their engineering and decoration office located in Gaza City, the two engineers are putting the final touches on a set of Ramadan decorations, which were prepared in their homes, and work is underway to be delivered to the customer as soon as possible.
On a circular wooden hanging, a cloth lantern keshko and a yellow crescent are affixed, in addition to the phrase “Ramadan Kareem”, which was also written using shiny fabrics.
While her Kurdish friend is busy stuffing a piece of cloth she knits using a needle, it will later become a yellow lantern that will join a group of cloth Ramadan decorations, which a customer requested to decorate his house. The two young women use their talent to make handicrafts, with high craftsmanship, as an additional source of income.

Exploitation of skill

Al-Kurdi, an architect who graduated from the Islamic University in 2008, said that making handicrafts began as a hobby after graduation.
She added that she and her friend searched for a job in the field of architecture, but they did not find them.
She explained that they volunteered in a number of governmental and private engineering offices, and occupied their spare time by learning and professionalizing the skill of traditional Palestinian embroidery; Where they participated in two exhibitions of handicrafts, the first in 2012 and the second in 2013.
The two friends gained experience in the fields of architecture and interior design, which prompted them to open their own office, five years after graduation, according to Al-Kurdi.
In addition, exploiting the hobby and turning it into a work that generates a source of income is something that Al-Kurdi described as “important,” especially since the work is within the framework of the hobby and away from the psychological pressures that are exposed to while working in the field of specialization.
The two young women use the programs they use in interior design to design and manufacture handicrafts to produce artistic pieces of high quality and aesthetic specifications, according to Al-Kurdi.
Kishko, who learned the art of making embroidery and handicrafts from her colleague, is participating with her today in the project, which they called “The Gift Corner.”
She said that making handicrafts, whether embroidery or cloth decorations, allows a person to employ his latent creativity.
During her studies in architecture, the young woman Kishko used to make engineering models, which are considered part of handicrafts, she said.
She added, “Engineering and handicrafts both require an artistic sense, creativity, and innovative design.”
She explained that work in handicrafts is permanent and keeps pace with all events, but focuses on annual, religious and personal occasions for customers as well.
She said: “In Ramadan, we introduced the idea of ​​bedspreads and pendants that are characterized by religious symbols such as crescents and lanterns, as well as writing welcoming phrases for the blessed month.”
She pointed out that people’s preparations for the decoration of the month of Ramadan begin weeks before the beginning of the month, as the decorations add a special luster to the house and its spiritual atmosphere.
She continued, “These decorations complement the aesthetic interiors of the house, so individuals feel that there is a real change in the atmosphere during this month.”
The young woman praised the people’s interest in acquiring Ramadan decorations, as they wanted to spread an atmosphere of joy in their homes.
She said that this desire has become a culture that arose years ago, and appeared when residents increased their demand for interior design offices to design their homes internally and add beautiful touches to them.
She added that these offices allow home owners to “see the interior decoration of their homes in advance, which allows them to change and modify some points that they did not like.”
However, due to the difficult economic conditions, many Gazans tend to design their homes “only according to the basics, without adding any recreational touches that increase their financial burdens.”
The two architects face a number of challenges in their handicraft project, the most prominent of which is the Israeli blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip for more than 15 years.
According to Kashko, this siege causes the disruption of some types of fabrics that are used in the manufacture of handicrafts, which hinders their work.
She says: “Sometimes we design a shape for crafts using a certain type of fabric, and then we go to the markets to search for it, but we are surprised that it is cut off, which causes either a change in the design and the fabric or the replacement of the fabric that we started using.”

field of architecture

This challenge, the two friends also faced in the field of architecture and decoration, as it caused the interruption of certain types of raw materials, which are agreed in advance with the customer, to be used in building the house.
She added: “When we communicate with merchants to provide these missing materials, they express their fears of importing them in a situation where the market is suffering from recession.”
The siege also hindered their chances of obtaining job opportunities since their graduation year, by preventing the entry of raw materials for construction into the architecture and decoration sector, she said.
She continued: “The engineering sector, like other disciplines in Gaza, was affected by the blockade, and there was a dearth of job opportunities due to the prohibition of the entry of raw materials and the stagnation in the market at that time.”
The two friends market their products through an online store that was opened about two years ago, on the social networking site “Instagram”.
She said that these small projects, which depend on hobby and skill, would support ways of life and empower women economically, especially in light of the difficult economic conditions in the Gaza Strip.
She added, “The situation is unstable in Gaza. Whoever has a stable job today may lose it tomorrow. Therefore, small projects remain and the best skill is used to ensure continuity of work and income, and to break the routine of life.”

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