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Lakiya Negev Bedouin Weaving
PO Box 1588, Omer, Israel | Tel: (+972) 08-651-9883 | Fax: (+972) 08-651-3038 | lakiyaweaving@gmail.com | www.lakiya.org
 

Products: Hand-woven sheep wool carpets, pillows and wall-hangings
Beneficiaries: 70 Palestinian Bedouin women in the Negev desert
 

Lakiya Negev Bedouin Weaving was established in 1991 as an income generation project for Palestinian Bedouin women living in villages and encampments in the Negev desert in the southern Israel.   Through the network of 6 women's centers across the area, approximately 150 Bedouin women are provided with an opportunity to develop the traditional skills of spinning and weaving the wool, to acquire new roles and skills in dyeing, production and business management, and to earn incomes through the work.

The weaving has traditionally been women's work, for making tents, rugs, camel bags, belts, lafehs (a long belt to tie the hair), grain sacks and other household products.  Lakiya's rugs are hand woven outdoors on traditional ground looms using the wool of local desert sheep.  By increasing demand for their weaving, the Project aims to revive and preserve a craft central to Bedouin social and cultural heritage. Traditional patterns and colors are incorporated in the products for contemporary lifestyle, including floor rugs, tapestries, cushion covers and bags.   

Mariam, Lakiya's production manager, says the project gave her an invaluable opportunity to explore her potential.  She has gained a sense of empowerment from being able to supply the family income, and is proud that all her children have received good education as a result.  Mariam says: "The project has been a life-changing experience for us.  Now I drive a car, use the Internet.  I feel I am free."