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ASIGE

ASIGE is a social enterprise in rural
Bolgatanga, Ghana that shares with us the intricate craft of basket weaving.

MEET OZARA

Ozara - meaning fire in Persian - is an all-female social enterprise in Khujand, the northern region of Tajikistan. The group was founded by Tahmina Karimova in 2014 through the National Association of Business Women in Tajikistan (NABWT) with the aim to provide women with income-generating activity, as well as help women that experienced domestic abuse through economic independence. After starting in the local market in Northern Tajikistan, Ozara is now working with the EFI and hopes to preserve and share more of their craft and traditions with the rest of the world.

Ozara specializes in embroidery work - one of the most popular being Suzanis. Suzani is a form of embroidery that is deeply ingrained in Tajik culture, traditionally embroidered when a woman gets married by her mother and grandmother. Each region has its unique symbols and colour combinations, depicting a variety of nature-related elements and wishes for a bride's marriage.

For example, In the region of the Penjakent Valley in North West Tajikistan, the embroidery is often done on white fabric with black thread, representing that life and death always walk hand in hand. The small red flowers, often dancing in between the white and black are the moments of happiness we experience in life. Ozara mainly embroiders pomegranates and peppers, symbols popular to their region which depict fertility and protection from the evil eye.

"If we don’t have women that personify fire, a community or society would be and remain ‘unbaked’ and the bread wouldn’t be ready to eat. The way women take care of a community is what makes society ‘rise’. I feel like this is what the organisation I set up aims to do."

Tahmina - founder Ozara

INTERVIEW WITH TAHMINA

Lessons in Sustainability: The Traditional Craft of Suzani in Tajikistan. Ozara is a women’s social enterprise in Tajikistan. Jeanne de Kroon speaks to its founder Tahmina Karimova to find out how the project preserves traditional crafts while providing training and employment to vulnerable women in the local community.

INTERVIEW WITH TAHMINA

Lessons in Sustainability: The Traditional Craft of Suzani in Tajikistan. Ozara is a women’s social enterprise in Tajikistan. Jeanne de Kroon speaks to its founder Tahmina Karimova to find out how the project preserves traditional crafts while providing training and employment to vulnerable women in the local community.

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