Bahrain has been famous for its large number of palm trees. No wonder it was referred to as the country of a million palms. Since old times, its inhabitants have depended on the palm tree in all spheres of their lives. Its fruits (dates) are eaten and its roots were used as building material and for making household tools. The fiber was used to clean vessels.

Since 1990, parts of the palm tree have been used in an innovative way - to make paper out of the pulp of its leaves. The Bahrain Child and Mother Welfare Society adopted this project in January 1990 as a pioneer project of the Society under the supervision of the Ministry of Development and Industry. Thereafter the entire project came under the supervision and management of the Society alone. The palm leaf paper is made by Bahraini girls adding considerable value and social esteem.

The basic purpose of this project is social development, through training girls who cannot pursue education. They gain the skills required for this kind of job and take advantage of the easy availability of palm leaves all over Bahrain.

The Society does not recover the actual cost of training and contributes financially to meet the goals of social development. It was developed as a service project with no direct revenue coming to the Society, though it brings long-term revenue for the community. The first training course for palm leaf paper making project was organised on 3 January 1990 under the supervision of Dr Osama Al Khalidi, Advisor with the Ministry of Development and Industry. The first course had 10 trainees who learnt the basics of paper-making. The Society began to prepare for an exhibition of paper products in January 1991, a year after the project launch.

On the sidelines of the exhibition, a seminar was held to evaluate the experience and grant certificates to those who had completed their training and to record their names as pioneers in the field and their readiness to work from home. Some of the outstanding trainees were selected to be trainers. From this point onwards, the experiment turned out to be a success and was further expanded.