JebaleyaTalks

Project co-founder and creative director
Website | 2014 - ongoing
Client: UNWomen | Team: Sondos Shabayek, Sherine AbdelRasoul, Reem Shahin, Farhana Mousa

"There is a certain tree that doesn't die. It is called the tree of love. My family never understood my longing for the unknown, neither did the guy I ended up with, but I never lost faith in the tree of love" Anonymous, 85+ years. Woman. Jebaleya tribe. Sinai, Egypt

JebaleyaTalks "in Arabic جبالية تحكي" is a project dedicated for women of the Jebaleya tribe in South Sinai Egypt. Shedding the light on their long aquired personal empowerment, and freedom, which is mistakengly precieved while their faces are hidden behind their scarfs. Scarfs which mainly help them avoid the wind and the cold weather. The project focued on two tracks, media and product. The team introduced new skills to the ladies, in order to help them produce new products that illustrate a story, that they wouldn't otherwise tell. On a practical level, the new products helped further empower the ladies financially by opening new market venues.

One of the skills that the women were introduced to was learnng about smart textiles. In an hour, ladies were able to learn about the simple concept of polarity, and how that using conductive materials can help them make something like, a blinky bracelet? What is this for? All tourists climb mount Sinai in the evening, Tour operators won't miss their groups at night, with a blinky LED!

One awesome lady managed to learn and make a demo blinky bracelet in almost one hour!

The ladies already master the art of embroadry, so teaching them new ways of pattern making and new accessories that can add new functinalities such as light, was an eye opening experience, that made both, the local ladies and the project collaborators, realize a huge potential in storytelling on different levels.

The project assembled a collection of all patterns, in a catalogue here, and currently media podcast is being produced.

The project also produced market products that still use the traditional stiches and look of the original tribal products, yet with different designs and different products that opened venues to new markets. Babywraps, crossbags, stuffed hangar, are items that are different from the traditional wallets and mobile phone bags that they women were constantly producing, when they learned how to make patterns and how to move from idea to product, through a story they were impowered to replicate the process and further widen their markets.