Nostalgic stories narrated in threads at Abu Dhabi Art

'A Thobe Story' virtual talk scheduled on Nov 19 at 2 pm

Nostalgic stories narrated in threads at Abu Dhabi Art

 Palestinian refugee women working at 81 Designs workshop inside refugee camp Ain El-Hilweh in South Lebanon

Abu Dhabi:  UAE social enterprise 81 Designs and design studio Naqsh Collective will host a virtual talk on Nov 19 at 2 pm to discuss a detailed overview of their collaboration.

Part of the 2020 edition of Abu Dhabi Art, the talk coincides with their exhibit presenting an exclusive line of modernized thobes.  The collection titled A Thobe Story’ features 10 unique pieces of traditional garments inspired from centuries of culture and imagination, and infused with local craftsmanship - underlining the agility of a traditional art form in documenting stories.

During the webinar, co-founders of 81 Designs Nesrine El-Tibi Maalouf and Nadine Y. Maalouf will give an overview of their mission, their work with refugee women artisans living in Camp Ain El-Hilweh, and how the collaboration came about; while the Jordanian sisters behind Naqsh Collective Nisreen and Nermeen Abudail will share the design concept of the collection and their experience in creating a full collection from different parts of the world at a challenging time during the pandemic.

‘A Thobe Story’ can be viewed at Manarat Al Saadiyat on 19 - 26 November at 10am – 8pm.

To attend the talk, please register at this link: 

To see the collection virtually, please register at Abu Dhabi Art through this link.

Abu Dhabi Art runs until 26 November 2020.  For more information about 81 Designs and its projects, please contact @81DesignsME on Facebook / Instagram / its official website 


Private media viewing at Manarat Al Saadiyat on 18 November 2020 at 2 pm – 4 pm

81 Designs and Naqsh Collective will provide the media with an overview of the project, design concept, and share their experience on this quarantine project. One-on-one interviews will be available during the private viewing. Media are requested to book slot/s in advance.

About 81 Designs

81 Designs is a UAE-based social enterprise that brings both art and humanity together. In 2015, Nesrine El Tibi Maalouf and Nadine Y Maalouf founded 81 Designs with a group of refugee artisan women living in Ain El-Hilweh Camp in South Lebanon. The enterprise’s mission is to showcase their artisanal talents, restore hope in building their future, and preserve and modernize the ancient embroidery technique Tatreez. By providing employment opportunities, 81 Designs empowers and improves social and living conditions of these skilled refugee women. Our collaborations can be viewed on both our social media channels @81DesignsME on Facebook and Instagram and official website 

About Naqsh Collective

Through delicate finishing and fine machine production ebbing with ingenuity, Nisreen and Nermeen Abu Dail founded Naqsh Collective in Amman, Jordan in 2010.  Naqsh instantly became a conceptual framework reflected in the unique pieces of art and their intricate collaboration with design. A harmonious union between the oriental and the modern, Naqsh integrates aspects of art, architecture and heritage through minimalism that brushes on sophistication. It is a union that fits perfectly into the pace of modern life, to be enjoyed for its shapes, meanings and compositions. The two sisters find inspiration from the contemporary simplicity and the traditional arabic aesthetic, combined together with high quality local craftsmanship.

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