THE ARTISANS BEHIND THE CRAFT: SHAREEFA'S JOURNEY
NESTLED DEEP WITHIN THE HEART OF A REFUGEE CAMP RESIDES A COLONY OF AFGHAN FAMILIES, AS PART OF A UNITED NATIONS PROJECT TO PROVIDE SHELTER FOR ALL THOSE DISPLACED BY THE TUMULTUOUS SITUATION IN AFGHANISTAN.
The colony does not just house these inclusive communities. The colony houses unrelenting talent. It houses a sense of belonging, and camaraderie. The colony houses countless untold stories, waiting to be penned down in the pages of history.
Creative Director Huma Adnan enjoying a conversation with our Afghan artisans.
One such story is that of Shareefa's.
OUR LEADING ARTISAN - SHAREEFA
Shareefa is one of the leading artisans at Craft Stories by Huma Adnan. Her story is one of resilience, bravery, and unparalleled power.
When we say that every single item on our feed has a story, it is a statement that applies, not only due to the love put into the craft, but because of the narrative behind each ornament that comes into being.
A BTS LOOK AT HOW THE ORNAMENTS COME INTO BEING
As Shareefa sits in one of the houses at the camp, her story unfolds.
When asked about remembering her childhood, Shareefa does not remember much. The naiveté and purity associated with childhood comes across as a privilege that was not extended to Shareefa.
CHILDREN PLAY AT THE CAMP AND ARE ALL SMILES
Shareefa remembers her struggle. She remembers her perseverance. She remembers coming to Pakistan, and fate eventually leading her to Huma Adnan, where she stumbled upon an opportunity to create.
"I am so grateful to Huma for the training," she remarks in Urdu. Truly, she remembers the United Nations collaboration with Craft Stories by Huma Adnan to be a turning point in her life.
HUMA ADNAN AND SHAREEFA IN CONVERSATION
Amidst the dreary clouds of hopelessness and a string of jobs that did not pay well, Shareefa received vocational training in the art of crafting a bevy of ornaments by Huma Adnan and her team, leading her to put her heart and soul into each and every piece of jewellery that is crafted by her.
SHAREEFA RECALLS HER STORY
Within every bead that is added to a thread to make a necklace, Shareefa's fingers have worked tirelessly, in hopes to create a design that will tug at the heart strings of another who will see it as a symbol of adornment. Within every stitch on every mask, there is unbound love, and a river of gratitude flows from her into the thread she holds.
ARTISANS AT WORK AT THE CAMP
Having seen war, terror, violence, and injustice, Shareefa cannot help but compare her life here to her life back home.
"It's easier here," she states, with a wave of relief washing over her, as she wipes away the tears that have formed when thinking about the life she has left behind.
Shareefa believes that the opportunity to learn, work, and create must be one extended to all women. An empowered woman through and through, she emphasizes on the need for women to educate themselves, or pick up a skill that can translate into monetary compensation to keep their families afloat. She believes that struggle is inevitable, but with the aid of God and benevolent forces, all obstacles can be overcome.
THE WOMEN BEHIND THE CRAFT
Shareefa's legacy is one of power. It is one of hope. However, it is also one of many. Countless stories like Shareefa's remain unheard, perhaps devoid of an opportunity to break through and create.
Initiatives like the collaborative effort by the United Nations and Craft Stories by Huma Adnan become all the more imperative, as they work in tandem to create opportunities and shed light on these stories.
To support Shareefa and to honor her art, alongside the efforts of countless other artisans who work each day to create the ornaments on our feed, you can visit our Instagram page, or shop on our website.