A feminine touch on craftsmanship

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MAi AL ABRIA –

Since she was a child, Nadia Al Rawahi always pictured herself working in an industry where crafting silver pieces is involved. She has always been fond of the khanjar and other silver items which is why, at her age now, armed not only with education but also with experience, she’s been viewed by people around her as a prolific entrepreneur.
As she’s an Omani entrepreneur that takes great pride in what she does.
Her yearning to become an integral part of developing silver item production led to her joining a course organized by the Public Authority of Crafts Industry in 2006-2007.
This was within the same period when she began working on her own workshop which she called “Ishraqat Silver Craftsmen” in Fanja.
Supported by Shikha Aisha al Siyabia, she worked as a trainer to younger generations. She started with training nine girls and two boys for two years in Muscat.
Meticulous with her products, Al Rawahi makes sure that what she sent out to her clients are top quality products.
“I have many clients who trust the quality of my products. Not only individuals, but also companies buy my products as gifts for their employees or guests. The Khanjar represents the Omani identity and many companies prefer to send it as a gift to introduce our identity to others”, she explained.
Nadia says, “I like to work closely with others. They inspire me with new designs. I try to add a modern touch to all my traditional designs to keep pace with the demand of the market, although many women prefer buying the pure traditional pieces for parties.”
Al Rawahia won numerous prizes for excelling at her profession. She won twice at the Cup of His Majesty at the crafts outstanding competition in 2010 and 2015. She was rewarded by the Authority of Craft Industry as the most distinguished craftswomen in 2013.
“My project was rewarded as the best project at al Roya Economic Contest in 2015. I won also at the International Crafts Competition for crafts excellence on the level of the continent of Asia-Pacific,” she shared.
“I participated at many local exhibitions, the most notable is Saih al shamikhat Seminar Exhibition, the annual Omani Innovations Exhibition, and the Annual Jewelry Exhibition. Internationally, I participated at Shanghai Exhibition in China. I’ve also shown my work at shows in Dubai and Syria during the Arab Capital of Culture event. I was also nominated to attend the Forum on Women’s Leadership at Microfinance sector at the Organization of Arab women in Cairo in 2014,” she added.
Nadia is proud to have been able to represent the Sultanate at several of these occasions.
She was all praise for the Public Authority for Crafts Industry for giving her the exposure and supporting her on her journey.
“PACI has helped me a lot in my endeavors. They prepared me and helped me preserve the Khanjar, the most notable Omani identity. They also were very helpful in marketing my products and and their inclusion of me in exhibitions and competitions has allowed me to be introduced to others,” she said.
Nadia also assured that the role of women in her chosen industry is extremely prominent.
“Women had been working on this sector more than the men. It’s the women who add new touches to silver products and their ingenuity to beautify the products greatly help in elevating this industry,” she said.
“This industry is my only source of income and my biggest dream as well. Ambitions and the potential within this industry are endless,” she concluded.