Jeweller Lama Hourani sees more than just beauty in handmade crafts
by Laila Azzeh | Apr 09,2012 | 17:38
AMMAN - Jewellery designer Lama Hourani's community activism, volunteerism and social responsibility were recognised with her selection as a Young Global Leader (YGL) for 2012 by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
The young woman, who draws inspiration from different cultures and has made a niche for herself in the local market, said craftspeople can make an important contribution to both the Kingdom's economy and its culture.
"There is a need for handmade elements and a need to focus on crafts, especially in a non-industrial country like Jordan, where we can stand out by our heritage," Hourani told The Jordan Times in a recent interview.
The designer comes from a family interested and involved in the arts. This early exposure, buttressed by talent and education, helped her acquire a following both in the country and abroad.
Born in 1978, Hourani obtained a bachelor's degree in fine arts from Yarmouk University; she also has diplomas in design and gemmology from the Gemmological Institute of America and a master's degree in product design from Istituto Marangoni in Italy.
The designer said she gets inspiration for her works from the most unexpected quarters.
"Some of my best sketches were made on trains and planes, and I could get an idea from books and photographs as easily as from nature and things around me. I invest a lot in my materials, which I select during my travel," she said.
At her workshop at the Foresight Art Gallery in Amman, Hourani has a team of assistants whom she has trained to translate her sketches into the sought-after shapes.
The YGL has been employing and training underprivileged women from different parts of Jordan, hoping to touch more than one life with her endeavours.
Hourani said she takes the nomination seriously, as a recognition of Jordanian talent in general, not only her own.
"Being selected as a YGL is a great honour and responsibility at the same time. I look forward to working with my fellow YGLs to tap the creativity and entrepreneurial talent of young Arabs everywhere," she said.
Hourani believes talented young Jordanians need to be supported to become entrepreneurs.
"Talented people here would have beautiful stories to tell if only they were given the required support to innovate," said the winner of the Young Arab Designers' innovative design award, noting that her support and guidance came, first and foremost, from her parents.
Hourani and Arab Bank Vice President for Branding Dina Shoman were selected as YGLs at the WEF earlier this year based on several criteria, including a track record in public service-oriented activities and a commitment to enhancing the public good.