Monday August 15, 2022

‘Embroidering Dreams’ - book on empowering women

December 05, 2021

A coffee table book is an oversized, usually hard-covered book with subject matter predominantly non-fiction and pictorial, whose purpose is for display on a table intended for use in an area in which one entertains guests and from which it can serve to inspire conversation or pass the time. Many people like to have a few of these in their sitting rooms - they are not only an indication of the owners interests but also add to the aesthetic of the décor.

If you are looking for a book that you will be proud to display; gives you information about the talented women we have in Pakistan and the amazing work they are doing in promoting Pakistan’s ‘soft image,’ look no further. ‘Embroidering Dreams,’ not only celebrates home based women artisans of the association but speaks volumes about how volunteerism can make a difference in the lives of those who are less privileged than others. It is a testament to the important work being done by the Behbud Association of Pakistan.

This book tells stories about its artisans - the invisible workforce - with first person narratives; it explains and gives names of the different stitches they use for the embroidery that creates fashionable outfits for discerning customers; it has sections on other hand work like crochet, knitting and block printing and its beautiful photographs highlight the work these women do in all these mediums. It is pertinent to mention here that items of household use are also made by Behbud and are great to give as gifts.

It is a delight to go through the book – it makes you proud of our women artisans and what can be achieved if the will is there. Continuing the legacy that began years ago, president Behbud Association, Abida Malik and her team of dedicated volunteers are doing a great service to the country by continuing to work selflessly for the uplift and improvement in the lives of a large segment of society.

Behbud Association was born in the wake of the War of 1965, when the nation was faced with many problems. The foundation was laid in 1967 by Akhtar Riazuddin with the help of a few volunteers. From humble beginnings it has developed into a national organization of high standing. Non-profit and non-political in nature, it has become a name synonymous with the uplift of the social and economic condition of our underprivileged classes, especially women and children, owing its success largely to all the volunteers that work with great zeal and determination.

This collection worthy book has been sponsored by the European Union and Serena Hotel under its umbrella of ‘Cultural Diplomacy,’ while a number of other businesses have contributed financially; edited by Tamkeem Nadeem; text by Sonia Rehman and designed by Shehzil Malik. All proceeds from the sale will directly benefit the women artisans.