In compliance with one of NAYA’s missions to shed light on women from all different backgrounds, we are glad to introduce NAYA’s “Women from our Villages” series. Each month, this series will take you on a journey to one of Lebanon’s villages and introduce you to a woman who has initiated a project to progress her community. To nominate projects for this series, contact NAYA Editor Sally Farhat: email@example.com
BEIRUT: “An architect once told us that we humanize our crafted pieces of jewelry. Being seen as a humanizer of tiny bits of copper and metal, means the world to me,” confessed Laura Antabli to NAYA.
For her brand “Cheغelna,” which translates to “our work” in English, Laura Antabli curves copper and metal ribbons, as well as other rare and raw material, into unique and customizable unisex neck chains, rings, bracelets, and earrings with her husband Maroun Antabli. They produce their artwork in a Phoenician style, without any welding technique or laser, which stuns most jewelers.
“As a self-taught artisan, I design and create the design by myself. My husband and I then execute our overnight ideas without using any welding technique. All is literally handmade,” noted Laura.
Laura and her husband have been sharing this business in the rural area of Araya for around 35 years. The couple remarked only few customers in their neighborhood, so they recently decided not to open their Araya shop to the public and to rely on the market exposure they get from local exhibitions, such as the “Souk Aal Souk” farmers’ market, which is initiated by the AUB Neighborhood Initiative (AUBNI) in Hamra’s Jeanne d’Arc street where NAYA met and conversed with the Antablis.
“Most of our customers are foreigners,” confirmed Laura. “Locals fail to value the sweat it takes to create a unique piece of jewelry that they will never find elsewhere.”
The Antablis’ jewelry collection never ceased to grow despite the “zero governmental funding and the State’s blindness towards local artisans.”
“People complain about our work’s price compared to other Chinese accessories. They ignore that our handmade work requires way more time, effort, and dedication, to be done,” stated Maroun. “Some buyers see our work as a bunch of ribbons linked altogether, whereas we give life to these ribbons.”
Laura concurs with her work - and life - partner, adding on a different note: “compliments stimulate us to passionately invest more into tiny bits of copper or metal. This profession is what keeps us alive.”
“We would rather not post or advertise our work on TVs or through social media for the sake of keeping the designs our very own, and to avoid future reproductions of our collection,” Laura told Annahar.
Contact Laura and Maroun Antabli on (+961)-03-554685 / (+961)-70-375079
Welcome to “NAYA," the newest addition to Annahar’s coverage. This section aims at fortifying Lebanese women’s voices by highlighting their talents, challenges, innovations, and women’s empowerment. We will also be reporting on the world of work, family, style, health, and culture. NAYA is devoted to women of all generations-NAYA Editor, Sally Farhat: Sally.firstname.lastname@example.org
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