Benan Grams

Benan Grams (Ain Leuh Weavers Cooperative): Benan is a Syrian national, fluent in Arabic, English, and German. Benan earned a BA degree in International Business at the Georg-Simon-ohm University for Applied Sciences in 2010, followed by a Master's Degree in Development Economics and International Studies from the Friedrich Alexander University in Germany in 2012. At the time of her fellowship Benan was studying for a Master’s Degree at the Arab Studies program, Georgetown University. After her fellowship, Benan wrote: "The ladies are great. Not only are they hard-working women but they are also open to new suggestions and adjustments. We had fun working together especially in shooting the pictures to make the catalog, even children and participating and helping. They have a lively working environment here."

Ain Leuh, my destination for 2013, Where, Who, Why?

10 Jun

href=”” title=”The Cooperative’s storefront sign” rel=”” class=””>The Cooperative's storefront sign

I am very excited about my fellowship in Morocco this summer. I am The Advocacy Project’s second fellow to go to work with the weavers of Ain Leuh in Morocco. Ain Leuh lies high in the heart of the Middle Atlas Mountains, it is a small village where poverty is wide spread among its population and women are the breadwinners in the families.

It is in the village of Ain Leuh where a group of talented and hardworking women established one of the oldest traditional cooperatives to produce traditional woven products such as carpets and rugs. This cooperative is the space where the talents of these women are aggregated to produce handmade, beautiful and unique products. It is also in this place where the sales of these products will generate income that is substantial for the livelihood of the weavers and their families.

My fellowship starts on the first of June and will last 10 weeks. My goal during this time is to work on increasing international awareness of the weavers’ story, work, products and efforts to support their families and preserve their culture. The rugs and carpets of the Cooperative of Ain Leuh represent symbols of Berber culture and history, a culture that is threatened by marginalization. By increasing international awareness of Ain Leuh weavers’ products, I hope to help the weavers outreach their story, find new markets and create demands for their products that help them generate sustainable income for them and their families.

I will be blogging weekly on my experience, my observations and work achievements. Please follow my blogs and feel free to make comments, add suggestions, and donate money. Any help to assist these women is most welcome and well appreciated.

Posted By Benan Grams

Posted Jun 10th, 2013

Enter your Comment


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *