When the Tight-Knit Syria team first met Malak, a thirty-nine-year old mother of six living in Shatila refugee camp, we were immediately struck by the loving, determined way she guided her large family through the poverty and hazards they found themselves in after fleeing their beloved home in Aleppo. What we did not realize yet was that her strength and passion were going to push dozens of women in her community forward, to create opportunity even in this unlikely place.
Within the shadowy maze beyond Shatila’s gate, located in Southern Beirut, very little sunlight seeps in, creating an atmosphere that mirrors the general sentiment inside the camp; hope fizzling out a little further with each passing day. Against the backdrop of sadness and memories of a traumatic past, Malak stands tall as a ray of hope. It was Malak who proposed founding a Lebanese branch of Tight-Knit Syria - so in 2016 we took a leap of faith and started a small campaign.
Thanks to all our supporters, we been able to:
- Organize a collective of twenty-five women
- Purchase initial knitting and embroidering materials
- Create designs
- Begin commissioning work locally
- Begin commissioning work internationally
Now, through our second crowdfunding campaign, Tight-Knit Syria is ready to scale up significantly, and with your help we can continue to work together with Malak to grow and educate our collective. In this way, the women who have gone from refugees to artisans, can grow from artisans to entrepreneurs.