The Rainbow under the Veil - By: Ms. Madiha Noman

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The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is transforming for better to be a progressive society with moderate practices & values based on the actual teachings of Islam. The waves of change are fast unfolding and the Saudi society is welcoming & bracing for these welcoming changes.

Vision 2030 has been instrumental in boosting the moral of the young especially the women folks. There is an obvious “Silver Lining” to it and that a “Beautiful Rainbow” is now seen to be emerging under the Saudi women’s veil which is a harbinger of a bright future for them all. It is because of the underlying targets & objectives in Vision 2030 that several revolutionary steps are being undertaken which is broadening the role of women in the Saudi society. For example: Saudi women will soon be on the driving seat of automobiles, new era of opportunities for women entrepreneurship, vistas of more work for women. In short, women are seen to be moving forward in all spheres of life.

All thanks are due to the young & energetic and visionary Crown Prince (and the future King) Prince Muhammad bin Salman - and of course supported by his father the incumbent King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud. May they both be protected by God, amen!!! And, may both also continue to live longer with good health, amen!!!!

Although it’s a wrong perception, however the fact of the matter is that the Saudi women have never been on the back-seat. Since ages they have been making their mark and playing their role towards development of their society and with that extension for the well-being of their country. One such platform where women have been doing great job and which needs especial mention here is Al-Nahda Philanthropic Society – which is a charitable women's society dedicated to empowering women socially and economically through the execution of numerous projects and programs.

This women-only Society was built on volunteer efforts and was founded in Riyadh in 1962 under the patronage of the late Queen Effat Al-Thunayan, the wife of the late King Faisal Al-Saud. It was spearheaded by a group of pioneering women including H.R.H. Princess Sarah Al-Faisal Al-Saud, H.R.H. Princess Lateefah Al-Faisal Al-Saud, the late Mrs. Samira Khashoggi and the late Mrs. Muzaffar Adham. Since its founding, it has implemented a myriad of development projects in line with Saudi Arabia's development plans. Some of these projects were in the fields of social welfare, family health, special needs, early childhood and cultural artifact preservation.
One another noteworthy platform through which the Saudi women have played a positive, constructive and commendable role in empowering of women is none but one and only “The Art of Heritage”.
Art of Heritage has its roots deeply embedded in a long history of commitment to social improvement and fine gift production with Al-Nahda Philanthropic Society.
The Art of Heritage was previously known as The Heritage Center - a division of Al-Nahda. Although established a quarter century ago, The Heritage Center was restructured and registered as a private sector company in July 2009.
The prime objective of The Art of Heritage is to research and preserve Saudi Arabia's heritage, costume, jewelry, household, artefacts and textile. The organization is not only providing opportunities to women to excel in the field of art and fashion but, by all means, is also playing effective role in promoting the Saudi culture, its art and rich heritage. From fashion to art, it has raised its tentacles, proved its mettle and ever since have become veritable arms for achieving the goals as stated & spelt out Vision 2030.

The Art of Heritage today creates modern version of the antique garments and accessories and preserves them as a national treasure. It would be injustice if mention is not made here about their pottery section “Yadawy”. Yadawy produces fine, handmade pottery and fine pieces of gifts. Every Yadawy gift is made with great care and devotion by talented Saudi women with physical disabilities. A division of The Art of Heritage, Yadawy is specifically created to serve the betterment of disabled Saudi women. As a result, these challenged women instead of becoming a financial burden upon their family; they are now earning their own livelihood.

The fashion department of The Art of Heritage is running under very skilled designers which are working to keep the Saudi tradition alive.The Art of heritage attire is an eye-catching piece of traditional handcrafted yet modern silhouette.

The Art of heritage earned a special feather on its cap when it had the honor of having the first female designer member of Saudi delegation for 2016 summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The organizations has not looked back ever since and is continuously participating in fashion weeks both nationally and internationally - and thus keeping the Saudi culture alive.

Ms. Madiha Noman is a Riyadh-Based Fashion Designer and Entrepreneur

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Posted on Dec 31, 17 | 12:30 am