Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council launches ‘Hirfati’ Youth Programme

  • Saturday 11, August 2018 in 4:33 PM
  • Children at the Sao Paulo International Book Biennial learn traditional Emirati craft of ‘Safeefah’,
Sharjah 24: Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council (Irthi), an affiliate of NAMA Women Advancement Establishment (NAMA), announced the launch of a new youth programme, ‘Hirfati’ (Arabic for ‘my craft’) under the slogan ‘My Craft... My Future’.
Hirfati fulfils one of Irthi’s key objectives by targeting children and youth aged 6–18 years, to preserve the heritage crafts of the United Arab Emirates and ensure its sustainability, through stimulating and enabling young generations to learn, nurture and develop these crafts with innovative ideas and original designs.
 
Launched on the International Youth Day, celebrated on August 12 every year, Hirfati programme seeks to stimulate, train and engage with the next generation of designers, artists and craft makers through a mix of workshops, activities and competitions that combine traditional and contemporary crafts. The programme will develop the skills of the region’s youth and create meaningful connections between them and renowned designers and artisans in the UAE and the region, in addition to educating youth on the cultural significance of Emirati heritage crafts.
 
Reem BinKaram, Director of NAMA, said: “We reinforce our commitment to children and youth on International Youth Day by launching a programme aimed at enhancing the creativity of the future generations who we have entrusted with preserving UAE’s authentic heritage, history and culture. Hirfati programme represents a celebration of the present and future role of young men and women as essential partners in building our future, and their contribution to the socioeconomic development of our nation. Since Irthi’s inception, we have organised several workshops and activities that target children through crafts and design, and Hirfati is a big new step in this direction.”
 
Since its inception, Irthi has participated in many local events and festivities, hosting an array of artistic workshops for children led by Irthi’s female artisans from the Bidwa Social Development Programme at various institutions such as, Sharjah Children and Sajaya Young Ladies of Sharjah; two subsidiaries of Rubu’ Qarn Foundation for Creating Leaders and Innovators, in addition to organising a series of crafts workshops for young ones at the fifth Sharjah Children Biennial and other local events.
 
Additionally, Irthi recently conducted two art workshops dedicated to children and young adults aged 6–18 years at the 25th edition of the Sao Paulo International Book Fair, where Sharjah has been chosen as the fair’s Guest of Honour. Artisans of Irthi’s ‘Bidwa’ Social Development Programme educated young visitors to the book fair on UAE traditional crafts, such as Talli, hand-woven braids that are made of colourful cotton threads and silver or gold metallic threads; and Safeefah, the craft of weaving palm fronds to create baskets, food covers, fans and other household items.