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WishList: Made In Lebanon

April 8, 2014

My mom is a super crafty person: a brilliant dress maker, cook and everything DIY. I grew up believing you shouldn’t pay for what you can make yourself, and to evaluate what you buy by its quality first.
Being a workaholic i have less time for DIY but still have a fondness for quality handmade everything.

Being in Lebanon for the past few years, i was hoping to adopt a more hand made lifestyle… but it seems more difficult than I anticipated.

Glass furnaces no longer roar like they used to. Crafty carpenters sit with grim faces. Home made produce has been hijacked by the “organic” and priced up. Quantity & “made in China” has triumphed the market place.

Bokja Design Chairs – Modern, Creative and Local.

The core of the problem is not that people don’t want hand made goods. It’s that these professions are abandoned by newer generations that are moving into desk jobs and “i want to be a manager” attitudes. We respect the suit, not the human in it.
One thing i loath about traditional academia is its celebration of theorizing and analyzing rather than doing. Not everyone is cut out for books. Many undergrads frail through college, only to graduate into mediocre jobs, unemployment, marriage or a mobile-phone-credit-refill shops.
Elite schools have more opportunities for children to explore their talents, but how many children go there, how many can afford to?

Recycled Blue Glass – GGRIL (did you know that glass is 100% recyclable and that there’s only one glass furnace operating in the country still?)

The problem: Social pressure, Education, government support.
Social pressure:
What did you really want to be when you were young? A painter? An actor? A designer? What made you tick and drew a smile on your face? Every passion can be a profession! It takes some work and perseverance, but also passion, to succeed.
Maybe it’s time to pick a hobby, and fly with it. It disgusts me that many parents label hobbies and pets as a “waste of time” and “juvenile” – even though they are essential to teach time management, compassion and discipline.
Did your arts teacher really teach you how to draw? craft? or anything… my siblings’ art teachers sit in the classroom and gives them crayons. done. nada. no techniques, no art history, nothing :/  (yes she gets paid to do nothing, and have the nerve to protest!)
Music, Arts and Sports (and anything non-traditional”) are under appreciated subjects in school curriculum, not enough institutes are available across the country to endorse these talents either. For heck’s sake, there isn’t even accessible Dabke classes!

Ants Accessories – Makhoul Street, Hamra

Government support:
How about we cut taxes for craft industries, support and endorse them through subsidies and incentives? Facilitate distribution, safety measures, protect intellectual property… or furnish the government buildings and public facilities exclusively thoroughly local furniture, glass, paper, stationery, etc?
It may not sound like much, but imagine how many public institutes and buildings (whether offices or barracks) exist in Lebanon and how many chairs these require… enough to keep many carpenters busy!
Also how about the Media stops labeling made in Lebanon as “ooh shu exotique!” and use a more assertive tone and promotion 😉

Made in Lebanon [Green Glass Recycling Initiative] [Ants Accessories] [Bokja Design]

Carpenter / Saida, Lebanon

Carpenter / Lebanon

Glass blowing / Lebanon

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Suzanne Talhouk permalink
    June 20, 2014 10:32 am

    Dear Rasha

    Hope this email finds you well.
    Allow me to introduce myself, My name is Suzanne Talhouk Levant PR Director at JWT. We are currently working with The Democratic Housing Corporation(TDHC), aiming to communicate the importance of home ownership, a culture that most of us don’t have as part of our thinking and growth.

    we believe that you as a blogger play an important role in re-educating people like us on the RIGHT of owning a home and that it should never be a dream.
    Joining us you will meet the people behind TDHC and they are ready to answer all your questions and share the solutions they started implementing.

    Finally, if you don’t mind sending us your mobile number and your email so we can send the invitation card for the event which will take place on June 25.
    Please contact us as soon as possible.
    Thank you,

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