Conserving Cultural Heritage: The Resilience of Forcibly Displaced Syrian Artisans in Jordan

 

The first meeting for a two year Global Challenges Research Fund project administered jointly by the ESRC and AHRC research project on Conserving Cultural Heritage: The resilience of forcibly displaced Syrian artisans in Jordan (grant reference number ES/P004792/1 took place on the 24th of January in Amman, Jordan. Led by Dr. Haya Al-Dajani of the Futures Entrepreneurship Centre, the co-investigators from the University of Plymouth are Dr Marta Hawkins and Professor Geoff Wilson. The Jordanian Project Partners are Dr Aida Essaid from the King Hussein Foundation Information and Research Center (IRC) and Widad Kawar from TIRAZ: the Widad Kawar Home for Arab Dress in Jordan.

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The Widad Kawar Home for Arab Dress in Jordan.

The project will explore the entrepreneurial journeys and aspirations of male Syrian refugee artisans that have been in Jordan for over five years, to answer questions such as:mWhat opportunities are they making for themselves? How they use their artisan skills entrepreneurial? In what ways are they being entrepreneurial?  How does their artisan enterprising impact their resilience?

An energetic and engaging stakeholder event led by Dr. Haya Al-Dajani on the 25th of January also in Amman, produced great insights into the traditional Syrian artisan sector. A shrinking number of both Jordanian and Syrian craftspeople use their decades of experience to make exquisitely detailed mother of pearl mosaics, woodcarvings and embroidery.

 

The King Hussein Foundation Information and Research Center (IRCKHF) serves as a catalyst for socio-economic transformation through research, information and dissemination of knowledge. The IRCKHF promotes the welfare of children, youth, women, families, communities, and vulnerable groups by providing multidisciplinary research and analysis to practitioners and policymakers in Jordan and the Middle East region. Through cooperation with national and international partners and the creation of an online platform for knowledge sharing, the IRCKHF advocates for positive change by disseminating research findings on critical issues falling under the pillars of social cohesion, equality and justice, and civil society empowerment.  The IRCKHF provides access to information using quality research, education and awareness, and advocacy.

TIRAZ: the Widad Kawar Home for Arab Dress, is home to the most complete collection of Palestinian, Jordanian and other Arab costumes from the 19th and 20th centuries with over 2000 costumes and weavings. TIRAZ is a Jordanian institution which aims to preserve the unique Widad Kawar collection, and promote the vibrant Palestinian and Jordanian cultural heritage and Arab living traditions.

 

The UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) promotes and supports high-quality independent research, which has an impact on business, the public sector and civil society, and related postgraduate training on social and economic issues. It is the UK’s largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues.

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The UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) promotes and supports high-quality independent research and postgraduate training that has an impact on emerging arts and humanities disciplines, as well as vulnerable ones. It is the UK’s largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues.

 

Thank you for reading this blog. If you would like to know more about this project please contact haya.al-dajani@plymouth.ac.uk

 

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