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Thursday December 09, 2021

First lady praises Behbud for social work

October 27, 2021

Islamabad : First Lady Samina Arif Alvi on Tuesday praised the Behbud Association for producing a 'remarkable' coffee table titled “Embroidered Dreams”, saying the book shows the heroic struggle of the women who have kept local handicraft traditions alive while uplifting themselves and their communities out of poverty.

During the book launching ceremony at the Serena Hotel here, she also appreciated the association’s 'impactful' social work over the decades as an ethical and sustainable fashion brand and welfare entity.

Written by Sonya Rehman, edited by Tamkeen Nadeem and designed by Shehzil Malik, the book features the textile and fashion design process and the intricacies of the age-old local craftsmanship of the traditional crafts/needlework from various regions of Pakistan, including ralli, kantha, chikankari, block-printing, smocking, cutwork, cross-stitch, taarkashi, phulkari, crochet, and knitting.

The large-format book tells the story - in compelling visual terms - of the remarkable journey of the Behbud Association, which is one of the largest and oldest non-profit organisations in Pakistan and has trained over 300,000 artisans spanning five generations.

The event featured the unveiling of a 10 feet high display of the launched book, and a crafts fashion show as well a book auction.

Government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, foreign dignitaries, and representatives of corporate and business sectors attended the launch.

Abida Malik, president of Behbud Association, said, “Embroidering Dreams documents the struggles and hopes of the home-based workers, community leaders, artisans, teachers, doctors and volunteers, who make up Behbud.

"It's an important story that needs to be documented for the next generation to glean encouragement and creativity from. It is my hope that the women in this book, the ambassadors of fortitude who embrace the spirit of Behbud, embolden Pakistan’s daughters and give them the willpower to exceed their own expectations and reach beyond the stars.”

She thanked CEO Serena Hotels Aziz Boolani and Androulla Kaminara, the ambassador to the Delegation of the European Union to Pakistan for their on-going support in amplifying the socio-economic impact of the Behbud Association and for being the platinum sponsors for Embroidering Dreams.

CEO of the Serena Hotels South and Central Asia Aziz Boolani said the wonderful book made a valuable contribution to the documentation, and hence the conservation, of traditional time-honoured crafts techniques from various regions of Pakistan.

"We, Serena Hotels, believe in the preservation and showcasing of our valuable cultural heritage and support of artisans, especially women of underserved regions, so we are proud to promote Behbud crafts using the platform of Serena Hotels," he said.