Artists For Change at Festival City during Ramadan

From 21 May to 16 June, the main atrium of Dubai Festival City hosts an interesting collaboration – work donated by four Emirati artists and designers has been woven into hand-knotted carpets by weavers from FBMI, the Fatima Bint Mohamed Bin Zayed initiative.

This is part of the FBMI’s Artists for Change programme. Four Emirati artists are featured: Sheikha Wafa Hasher Al Maktoum (artist and owner of FN Designs), Sheikha Mariam Khalifa Al Nahyan (designer and founder of MKS Jewellery), Shamsa Al Abbar (designer and founder of Shamsa Al Abbar Jewellery), and Mohammed Harib (director of Lamatara Studio and the man behind the Freej cartoon). The carpets being exhibited will also be available for sale.

Farshied Jabarkhyl, FBMI’s regional manager, said that the exhibition “reaches out to bridge the gap between international talent and underprivileged artisans in Afghanistan”. All proceeds of the carpet sales go to FBMI weavers  in the form of salary, access to health, and education for their children; so the women have the dignity of sustainable and salaried employment rather than subsisting on handouts and charity. FBMI has had 3,000 of them on its books since the Initiative started in 2010.

As a fun sideshow at Festival City we’re also promised the largest ball of yarn that has ever been assembled in the region. With a diameter of three metres, the yarn has been hand-spun by female weavers and dyed with natural vegetable dyes in Afghanistan.

Located in Festival Square, the exhibition is open every day from 10am to 10pm on Sunday to Wednesday and from 10am to 12am on Thursday to Saturday. Visitors will also be able to try their skills on the traditional Afghan carpet loom as two FBMI weavers demonstrate every day during Ramadan from 4pm to 12am.

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