Gaza .. Two engineers use their artistic talent to make decorations for Ramadan

The two architects, Basma Kishko and Rana Al-Kurdi, who specialize in interior design and decoration, managed to combine work at the university branch with the production of handicrafts using fabrics.

Both fields require a high artistic sense and a simulation of modernity and development, which seems comfortable for the two engineers who gained experience in design and decoration about 14 years ago.

The two engineers are trying to continue with the handicrafts they make with brightly colored fabrics on annual occasions, as well as combine them with the interior decoration of clients’s homes.

At their engineering and decoration office in the city of Gaza, the two engineers are placing the final touches on a set of decorations for Ramadan, which were prepared in their homes and work is underway to deliver to the client as soon as possible. possible.

On a circular wooden pendant, is hung a keshko fabric lantern and a yellow crescent, in addition to the phrase “Ramadan Kareem”, which is also written in shiny fabrics.

While her Kurdish friend is busy stuffing a piece of cloth she knits with a needle, she will later become a yellow lantern to join a set of fabric decorations for Ramadan, which a client asked for to decorate his house.

The two young women use their talent to make handicrafts, with high craftsmanship, as an additional source of income.

Al-Kurdi, an architect who graduated from Islamic University in 2008, said making handicrafts began as a hobby after graduation.

She added in her interview for Anadolu Agency that she and her friend looked for a job opportunity in the field of architecture, but did not find it.

She explained that they volunteered at a number of government and private engineering offices and spent their free time learning and professionalizing traditional Palestinian embroidery skills; Where they participated in two exhibitions of handicrafts, the first in 2012 and the second in 2013.

The two friends gained experience in the field of architecture and interior design, which prompted them to open their office, five years after graduation, according to Al-Kurdi.

Moreover, exploiting the hobby and turning it into an income-generating job is something that Al-Kurdi described as “important”, especially since the job is within the framework of the hobby and away from the psychological pressures that are exposed to it at work. in the field of specialization.

The two young girls use programs they use in interior design to design and produce crafts to produce high quality art pieces and aesthetic specifications, according to Al-Kurdi.

Kishko, who has learned the art of embroidery and handicrafts from her colleague, participates today with her in the project, which they called the “gift corner”.

She told Anadolu Agency that making handicrafts, whether from embroidery or fabric embellishments, allows a person to use his latent creativity.

Young Kishko, while studying architecture, worked engineering models, which are considered part of the craft, she said.

She added, “Engineering and crafts require artistic flair, creativity and innovative design.”

She explained that handicraft work is permanent and keeps pace with all events, but also focuses on annual, religious and personal occasions for clients.

She said: “In Ramadan, we introduced the idea of ​​veils and pendants containing religious symbols such as crescents and lanterns, as well as the writing of greeting phrases for the blessed month.”

She stressed that people’s preparations for decorating the month of Ramadan begin a few weeks before the start of the month, as the decorations give a special glow to the house and its spiritual atmosphere.

She continued, “These decorations complement the aesthetic ambience of the house, so people think there is a real change in the atmosphere this month.”

The young woman appreciated the interest of people to get the Ramadan decorations because they wanted to spread an atmosphere of joy in their homes.

She said this desire has turned into a culture that was born years ago, and emerged when residents increased their demand for interior design offices to design their homes from the inside and give them beautiful touches.

She added that these offices allow homeowners to “look in advance at the interior decoration of their homes, which allows them to change and modify some items they do not like”.

However, due to difficult economic conditions, many Gaza residents tend to design their homes “only on the grounds, without adding any recreational touches that increase their financial burden”.

The two architects face a number of challenges in their craft project, the most prominent of which is the Israeli siege placed in the Gaza Strip for more than 15 years.

According to Kashko, this siege causes disruption of some types of fabrics used in the production of handicrafts, which hinders their work.

She says: “Sometimes we design a shape for the handicraft using a certain type of fabric, and then we go to the market to look for it, but we are surprised that it is cut, which either causes a change in design and fabric or replaces the fabric. that we started using. “

The two friends also faced this challenge in the field of architecture and decoration, as it caused the discontinuation of some types of raw materials, which have been agreed in advance with the client, to be used in the construction of the house.

She added: “When we communicate with traders to secure these missing materials, they express their fear of importing them in a situation where the market is suffering from recession.”

The siege also hampered their chances of finding job opportunities since graduation, barring the entry of construction raw materials into the architecture and decoration sector, she said.

And she continued: “The engineering sector, like the rest of the disciplines in Gaza, was hit by the blockade and there was a lack of job opportunities due to the ban on raw materials entering the market and stagnation in the market at the time. Time.”

The two friends market their products through an online store opened about two years ago, on the social network “Instagram”.

She said these small projects, which depend on hobbies and skills, will support lifestyles and empower women economically, especially in light of the difficult economic conditions in the Gaza Strip.

She added, “The situation in Gaza is volatile. Those who have 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 breaking the routine of life. “

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