NAMA Women Hosts London’s Lady Mayoress on First Overseas Visit

Press release
Published December 17th, 2017 - 05:42 GMT
Artisans of the Bidwa Social Development Programme demonstrate the craft of Talli to Lady Mayoress Samantha Bowman.
Artisans of the Bidwa Social Development Programme demonstrate the craft of Talli to Lady Mayoress Samantha Bowman.

In keeping with Sharjah’s longstanding relations with the United Kingdom, NAMA Women Advancement Establishment (NAMA) has welcomed a VIP delegation from the UK, headed by London’s Lady Mayoress Samantha Bowman on her first official overseas tour, at its headquarters in the Executive Office of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of NAMA.

The UK delegation was welcomed by members of the NAMA Executive Committee, including Sheikha Hind bint Majed Al Qassimi, Acting Chairperson of Sharjah Business Women Council (SBWC), Erum Mazher Alvie, Senior Adviser at Her Highness’ Executive Office, and Noura Al Noman, Chairperson of Her Highness’ Executive Office, in addition to staff members from NAMA’s affiliates.

Meetings with NAMA entities Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council, Sharjah Business Women Council and Badiri Education and Development follow on from the visit of HRH Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales to the Government of Sharjah in November 2016.

Having been introduced to the teams from NAMA and its affiliates, the Lady Mayoress and Jessica Coetzee, VIP Visits Officer, British Embassy Dubai, learned about some of NAMA’s projects and key events, including the Women’s Economic Empowerment Global Summit, organised by NAMA in collaboration with UN Women, and took place on 4 and 5 December. The delegation was also introduced to the SBWC application, and was given a demonstration of the intricate embroidery craft of ‘Talli’ and the traditional palm leaf weaving technique of 'Safeefah' by the artisans of the Bidwa Social Development Programme, run by Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council.

Lady Mayoress Samantha Bowman, thanked the Executive Committee of NAMA Women Advancement Establishment and their teams for organising an interesting and informative session.

She added: “I was delighted to meet with a number of the staff, and I was very interested in learning about the traditional crafts of Talli and Safeefah. The work of NAMA and the Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council are exciting and empowering for women in the UAE in showcasing and commercialising long-established craftwork from this fascinating part of the world. I feel honored to have been a guest in Sharjah today.”

Reem BinKaram, Director of NAMA said she was delighted that the UK dignitaries showed so much enthusiasm and interest in the emirate’s traditional crafts and empowering the women who keep those crafts alive, in line with the directives of the wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of NAMA.

BinKaram said: “We are extremely proud to introduce our work to the Lady Mayoress, particularly as this is her first overseas visit since she assumed the role. To demonstrate the enormous talent of artisans from the Bidwa Social Development Programme really emphasises the relevance of their work on an international platform. I am sure that our guests will return to their home countries with fresh insights into the emirate’s unique ability to combine such a progressive society while still respecting its heritage and enhancing its significance in a modern world.” 

In appreciation of the visit and a token to remind the Lady Mayoress of the beauty of the pieces and the inspirational talents of the craftswomen, she was presented with a stunning porcelain cake stand, part of the 'Bidwa' Teaset Collection, created by Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council, in collaboration with DesignedbyHind and inspired by traditional ‘Talli’ patterns created by the artisans.

Background Information

NAMA Women Advancement Establishment

Nama Women Advancement Establishment (NAMA) was founded in 2015 by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the UAE Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and is chaired by Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah.

At NAMA, we are determined to mobilize the means required to create enabling environments to advance gender equity and inclusive economic and social growth. NAMA’s efforts stem from its core philosophy that women advancement is a fundamental requirement for the sustainable development of nations.


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