The Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children in Gaza is funded in large part by the sale of their handcrafted products, produced by local artisans. Their extensive textile range features beautifully intricate traditional Palestinian hand-embroidery known as Tatreez. This exquisite skill has been passed down through generations and is deeply embedded within Palestinian culture - younger generations of women who train in Tatreez and embrace this craft today feel privileged to maintain this strong connection to their cultural heritage and the continued authentic expression of Palestinian creativity.
One of the artisans who creates these beautiful Tatreez embroidered items is Sahar. Living in the central region of Gaza, Sahar shares a great affinity with the children who receive care and support from Atfaluna, because she was born deaf. Unfortunately, Gazan society is not well set up to support deaf people so Sahar was denied access to education and employment, causing her to feel increasingly marginalised in her community. This has only made Sahar more determined to fight for opportunities to thrive in life and to become a master artisan, overcoming the challenges of her disability.
When Sahar became aware of the work of Atfaluna, she became passionate about being part of their Elaborate Craftsmanship team, motivated by her dream to create opportunities for deaf children that she had been denied, she knew she could learn the skills she needed to make a difference.
She enrolled herself in several training courses to become proficient in the intricate art of Tatreez. Throughout her training Sahar has excelled and shown a high level of technical skill and creativity - all fuelled by her insatiable passion to create - create embroidery, create opportunities, create change.
Sahar communicates using sign language - when asked about her work, she expressed:
'I feel happy and proud of what my hands produce. Our Palestinian hand-embroideries are marketed and sold all over the world and every time someone new buys one of our pieces, the message of Atfaluna spreads. We are part of spreading Palestinian culture across the world and preserving the Palestinian identity and heritage from extinction.'
Sahar now supports her family with the income that she receives from her embroidery work. She has found the perfect creative expression - handcrafting in solitude and silence, producing beautiful embroidered products that shout loudly through vibrant colour, raising awareness of the incredible work of Atfaluna and creating a bright future for the hearing impaired and deaf children of Gaza. Sahar communicates with her hands - louder, more passionately and with more significant consequences than she ever imagined possible.
Be part of the transformative work that Sahar, other artisans like her, and the staff at Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children in Gaza are doing by buying an Atfaluna hand-embroidered product today:
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