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ArteZan Designs

By Carolyn E. Price     Nov 14, 2006 in Lifestyle
Khorshied Samad is the wife of Afghanistan's Ambassador to Canada and she is one of the driving forces behind the "ArteZan Designs Project". This project is sponsored by a non-profit organization called Artists for Afghanistan Foundation (AFAF) and wh...
Khorshied Samad is the wife of Afghanistan's Ambassador to Canada and she is one of the driving forces behind the "ArteZan Designs Project". This project is sponsored by a non-profit organization called Artists for Afghanistan Foundation (AFAF) and what they do is help women in Kabul, Afghanistan gain financial security by weaving silk scarves.
As we all know, under the Taliban rule in Afghanistan women's rights were severely curtailed and artistic endeavors were basically non-existent. The tradition of weaving silk scarves/shawls was slowly being lost. AFAF have set up a small co-op in Kabul where women are being taught how to hand-weave the shawls on looms. The shawls are made from 100% pure silk from the ancient city of Herat and are dyed using natural vegetable dyes.
Each day at the co-op when lunch time rolls around, the women are given literacy lessons while they eat. You see, all the women and girls in Afghanistan are illiterate because for the last 20 – 30 years, they were NOT ALLOWED to go to school and learn the truly basic things we so often take for granted like reading and writing. Can you imagine being banned from receiving an education? Okay, yah, I can see being banned from a bar for bad behavior, but banned from school because you are female?
Anyway, the website www.artezandesigns.com shows several examples of the scarves and gives out contact information. Each scarf is $60.00 CAD which covers the shipping costs from Afghanistan to Ottawa (where Mrs. Samad lives) and then pays the postage from Ottawa to anywhere in Canada. I have personally placed and order and it was delivered to my home within 10 days. I am absolutely delighted with the scarves I received.
Look, I have been a Grinch about Christmas for many, many years. I have come to absolutely hate the commercial aspect of it. By giving a scarf from this project, it makes me feel like I am truly getting into the spirit of Christmas by helping someone else even in such a small way. Baby steps. Perhaps you could get one for your Mother? Not only will she think you have great taste, she’ll be pleased that she raised such a socially conscious son or daughter.
For a more in-depth article on Mrs. Samad and some of the other things she is involved in please see: www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=e891f7be-413f-4c5a-97f1-86950ff78244&k=18935&p=1
More about Silk, Scarves, Woven, Women, Afghanistan