Inaash is an organisation dedicated to improving the lives of women in the Palestinian refugee camps of Lebanon. With over 450,000 Palestinian refugees currently living across 12 camps in Lebanon, Inaash has provided opportunities for thousands of women to earn income and provide financial support for their families.
Conditions for the communities living in refugee camps in Lebanon are notoriously difficult. Employment opportunities are limited and the level of unemployment is extremely high for men. At the same time, traditionally it is not usual for their women to seek employment outside their immediate surroundings. Living on aid and handouts is neither sufficient for needs nor conducive to psychological wellbeing. It was these social problems that led Huguette Bechara El Khoury (daughter of Lebanon’s first President) to establish Inaash as a way of creating employment and providing an income for refugee women confined to the camps. The one transferable skill the women brought with them to Lebanon was traditional embroidery.
Embroidery is the living heritage of Palestine, transferred from mother to daughter through the ages. Inaash’s vision is to conserve it, promote its beauty and keep it relevant in today’s world on behalf of those who produce it. Throughout the last five decades Inaash has worked to both preserve this culture and harness it as a means of livelihood for its practitioners in some five camps located across Lebanon. Since its inception, over 2,000 women have benefited from the production of Inaash products, both in monetary terms and through a sense of community and continuity. Successive generations have passed on the skill from mother to daughter.
As a Palestinian immigrant and as an artist whose practice is dedicated to the revival and preservation of historical crafts from the region, Dana Awartani wholeheartedly supports the work of Inaash and its sensitivity to the ongoing political, economic, and humanitarian crisis in Lebanon. Donations will support the local refugee communities who are most severely affected by these difficult times.