KHF Outreach
Her Majesty Queen Noor Visits the Women of the Wadi Mousa Silver Jewelry Project
12th August 2012
Queen Noor admires work of women in Wadi Mousa
 
Her Majesty Queen Noor Al Hussein recently visited the Wadi Mousa Silver Production Centre outside the ancient city of Petra, accompanied by HRH Princess Raiyah and HH Princess Dana Firas.

Established by the Noor Al Hussein Foundation (NHF) in 1996, the Wadi Mousa Silver Jewelry Project has trained more than 700 Bedouin women to produce intricate silver jewelry which reflects the region’s rich history and art.

Examples of beautiful silver jewelry work 
 
In 1999, the NHF facilitated the turnover of the project to the Association of the Nabataean Women’s Cooperative, ensuring full ownership for the project’s participants.  

A new sales outlet was renovated by the NHF in 2000, allowing tourists to visit the production site and the shop.

Since the establishment of the Wadi Mousa Silver Jewelry Project, a number of organizations have helped build upon what NHF started, including Siyaha/USAID, and the Jordan River Foundation through the Qudorat Program. The project has also been supported by the Italian Association for Women in Development (AIDOS), Codespa, and the Joukowsky Family Foundation.

The goal of the project is to empower women economically and socially by giving them an enhanced sense of self-confidence and a greater role in decision making in their own households; NHF believes that economically empowered women tend to be more engaged politically and take a more productive role in community affairs.

Fawzeh Hassanat, the president of the Nabataean Women’s Cooperative, says she is a different person today because of the project, which sent her to Amman when she was 20 years old to receive specialized training at Kuzbar Jewelry.

Some of the women who previously trained through the NHF are now working in gold shops or have opened their own stores, which Hassanat said was the ultimate development goal of the production center. Those working in the cooperative earn wages of between JD50 and JD250 per month during the tourist season.

During her visit, Queen Noor also met with Dr. Emad Hijazeen, Commissioner of the Petra Archaeological Park and Cultural Heritage.  Her Majesty stressed the need to open new sales outlets and support the marketing of handicrafts produced by local women, such as the Wadi Mousa Jewelry Project:

“Improving sales outlets and marketing is crucial to the sustainability of these projects and the establishment of constant, rather than seasonal, work and wages. Marketing is key to preserving the projects that reflect the heritage of Jordan.”

The NHF has requested that the Petra Development and Tourism Regional Authority allocate a sales outlet at the newly renovated Petra Visitors’ Center to NHF supported WAGE: Women and Girls Empowerment – Securing the Future program.
 
The NHF has pioneered numerous economic empowerment projects for women through  the WAGE program that has created jobs, generated income, and helped improve the lives of thousands of women and their families since its founding in 1985.

These include innovative income-generating projects based on self-employment and home production.

 

 

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