The Awal Women’s Society has adopted “Al Naqda” project to promote this craft among girls, spread social awareness, protect national heritage and revive the craft that was about to fade away. Work on the project officially started in October 1996 when some candidates were trained for three months and in October 1997, the first official exhibition was held at the Crafts Centre in Manama for eight days.

“Al Naqda” is among the most beautiful craft of our heritage practiced by our mothers and grandmothers. It involves sewing and embroidering of Jalabiyas and dresses by hand. The project was started by the Awal Women’s Society and a female expert carried out the training courses until the project was officially inaugurated by HRH Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa.

The project is run by a group of Bahraini girls under a supervisor. Its products include artworks, clothes, Jalabiyas, gifts, cards and tissue-paper boxes, all of which are distinguished by the touches of our rich heritage. With the help of special tools and embroidery needles, well-known designs are created incorporating flowers, stars and traditional motifs such as “Al Kasowa”, “Al Farkh”, “Al Loziya”, “Seven Sisters”, “Wedding Ring” and “Al Ghula”.

After the project was incorporated into the Crafts Center, it was assimilated with many other crafts such as stained glass and paintings. It has since become a comprehensive project as its creations include many other arts.

The Royal Court has chosen this project to design its commemorative gifts. Many paintings and large models have also been designed under this project for the Social Development Ministry. Al Naqda products are distinguished by extraordinary precision, in addition to touches of modernity through the creative use of colours and designs. A strategy is being prepared to market this heritage art and to take it to the highest level.