The Coronavirus pandemic has affected local sectors and businesses in general, and craft and oriental businesses in particular. Despite of crises, Jordanian projects with the support of civil society continue to innovate and create to overcome challenges. Within the economic development program, the Arab Renaissance Organization for Democracy and Development (ARDD), in cooperation with Mr. Karim Nafaa, founder of the Al Zumurrod for Orientals, inaugurated the new branch on Sunday December 13, 2020, at Zara Center, ground floor, Arar Street No. 113 Wadi Saqra, Amman, Jordan.
The project represents a model of partnership between the private sector and local civil society organizations in a way that contributes to their sustainability, and of projects that invest in the craft skills present in the Jordanian local market to enhance opportunities for marginalized groups in society in general and among refugees and migrants, in supporting them in obtaining better training and marketing opportunities. The project is founded on the principle of exchanging knowledge and experiences between skilled workers, including Arab refugees and expatriates, and young Jordanian craftspeople.
“One of the most important lessons learned from the Corona crisis, is the importance of coming together as a civil society and a private sector to provide opportunities for talented and craftsmen to work and market their products.” said Samar Muhareb, ARDD Executive Director , “We also have a role in preserving our Arab heritage and identity and protecting these crafts that represent our culture and language, which all together are the basis in creating our true renaissance. The future is built with the inspiration of history and creativity in developing it.” she added.
In this regard, Mr. Karim Nafaa, founder of the Al-Zumurrod for Orientals, said, “The Kingdom witnessed an influx of refugees from Syrian and Arab young craftsmen with important experiences, especially in the field of Mamluk art, carving on wood and shelling, which constituted an opportunity for knowledge exchange between them and the young Jordanian craftspeople to enrich the market with local high-quality products” He added that this partnership between the private sector and civil society aims to reduce unemployment and create new and sustainable job opportunities for Jordanian young craftspeople, refugees and Arab residents.
Muhareb also emphasized that the local civil society is the closest to skilled craftsmen in marginalized societies, and its role is to network between talented people and the private sector to invest in these talents and support the creation of decent job opportunities for them. At the same time, the civil society which lacks some of the capabilities available to the private sector such as marketing, exporting, costs, etc., can better ensure the sustainability of these opportunities and projects.