Halfa, when the women weavers of Kasserine turn a wild plant into a work of art

Halfa, when the women weavers of Kasserine turn a wild plant into a work of art

Hasnya, the Art of Living from your own work, is to live with dignity, it is to be autonomous!

The craft sector in Kasserine has 18,000 artisans, 28 craft businesses and associations operating in various craft specialties.

Saturday, April 28, 2018 The founding team of start-up Mazed visited the region of Galal, located near the city of Kasserine in west-central Tunisia, where they met Hasnya, a sexagenarian, mother of three children For the occasion, other women were present to tell us about their fight and show us their products.

Impressive, intelligent women, fighters who only have their hands to thrive and find their place in society.

As soon as we arrived, Hasnya, a woman with hard features and whose eyes show that life has not spared us said: ”if you are going to help us to sell our products, you are welcome, if it is to tell us stories then you turn back. ”And then one of the women, quite young holding a child, adds:” more than 60 hours to work per week, without any legal status or social protection, without recognition ”.

Women seated on the floor with their products spread around them on a carpet, each more beautiful than the next, halfa rugs, boxes, hats, trays …

These women being at the same time: Mothers of families, with all the responsibilities that this “function” entails, work in the fields in the morning and manufacture products based on Halfa the rest of the day.

They tell us about their life, the struggle of everyday life so that their children have a better life than theirs.

Then Hasnya shows us her products and explains the history of each of them. Because each product has a story, an experience. Nothing happens at random.

Their products are developed with their own unique identity, using traditional techniques and natural materials. In particular, they offer varied collections including wool weaving, Halfa fiber, allied basketwork, pottery and embroidery products.

She talks to us about the issue of marketing.
YES these exceptional women cannot sell these pieces on which they can spend more than 24 hours of work, weaving, coloring….

Then “Hasnya” tells us her story when she started with one goal, to get her 3 children to school. And she succeeded, the 3 graduated from higher education but unfortunately unemployed for two of them.

She tells us about her successes, when there was a market, when there were tourists.
She tells us about her days, today thanks to hard work, and without ever having been to school, she obtains a professional certification in the manufacture of rugs, Margoum and Halfa which allows her to supervise young girls rural and others in order to preserve the profession of these ancestors and in order not to deprive his children OF LIVE.

Hasnya spoke with all her heart and soul with a touch of sadness AND nostalgia for this dying craft. She also spoke about issues like high cost of raw materials and dyeing and exploitation by middlemen. Products are piling up in their homes waiting for a fair or this intermediary who will come and collect everything for a small fee.

We will have wonderful memories of these exchanges. We returned home without promising anything but deep inside us the rage to succeed and help these women.

Mazed for all those women who lack marketing support, branding is the solution, the hope for a fresh start. What is certain is that Mazed will enhance their work, enhance the history of a region and above all restore their dignity.

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