“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see”
An inspiring quote by French artist Edgar Degas and the core message behind a great initiative running in Lebanon entitled One Carpet For Love.
Launched in 2015 by the regional market leader in carpet design Iwan Maktabi, the One Carpet For Love initiative invited famous Lebanese designers to make others see, through their art, the rich tapestry of life in our country and to give back to society by donating the proceeds of this collection to various charities in support of the mission to build a better Lebanon.
To spread the word about this initiative, each of the prominent designers partnering in this humane mission, picked one Lebanese blogger to shed light on this sacred message and it is with great pride and happiness that I discovered the below card in my mail today morning.
H.B., Huda Baroudi, is in fact the co-founder of one of my favorite Lebanese design brands, Bokja, a brand that has taken the Lebanese culture to the four corners of the world while finding “beauty and appreciation in the imperfect, gathering the unexpected, elevating the mundane and seeking out human emotions”.
Born in 2000 under the creative whims of Huda Baroudi and Maria Hibri, Bokja shared love of furniture and fabrics and made it to big global publications and international exhibitions throughout their journey to the legendary Silk Road countries where they amassed an unparalleled archive and knowledge of craft in the region.
“Combining artisans, carpenters, designers, there are at least fourteen hands behind every design and sometimes over one hundred years of tradition in a single piece of fabric. We combine the histories of our workers and materials to create designs with a voice.” It is this voice that Bokja is lending to the One Carpet For Love collection to raise funds to AFEL and HIMAYA, helping put an end to violence against children in Lebanon.
Violence against children in Lebanon is a cause that hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves except for the work of great organizations like AFEL and HIMAYA which have reported more than 1,278 cases in 2015 spread between acts of neglect, psychological abuse, physical abuse and finally sexual abuse. These numbers would definitely turn out to be exponentially higher if society spoke openly about these muffled voices and their tragic stories.
The list of designers weaving the story of this successful project has grown since its inception and so has the list of organizations benefiting from it, holding until now Skoun (Drug Awareness), CCCL (Children Cancer), Lebanese Red Cross (Emergency Response), Kafa (Women Rights), Amel (Women Entrepreneurship), AFEL (Children Violence), Himaya (Children Violence), Resto du Coeur (Hunger), SOS (Orphans), Chance (Children Cancer), Tamanna (Children Cancer), AEP, Lebanese Autism Society, Braveheart and Roads for Life.
The piece called HOBB by Bokja juxtaposes, just like the Lebanese community, different textiles each having a unique physical identity, old with new, found with made, western with eastern, to form one beautifully hybrid expression of love.
To put it in Huda and Maria’s own words: “We live in a society that is too precarious and fragile; hinging on a very delicate balancing factor. Creativity makes art and this is the only salvation for a society that has suffered years of war. “
How can you support this mission?
You can also play a role in this beautiful story of art and love, by spreading the message to all people passionate about art which may be interested in purchasing and contributing to this initiative, as well as sharing this story with all your friends on social platforms so we can all combine our different identities, talents and skills to make our nation one nation of love.
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