By sheer chance and after a coffee with Ms Arwa Hassan Al Qassim of Dubai Culture early February 2018 I was politely asked if I would like to be panelist at the SheTrades MENA Launch. I said YES!
Many thanks to Dr Ashraf Mahate Chief Economist at the Government of Dubai and Dubai Exports and Ms Al Qassim for providing me with a platform to talk about my passion FAIR TRADE.
This January I started trading at The Boutique Market at JBR, Dubai, UAE.
I invited two wonderful Social Enterprise lecturers from the Middlesex University Dubai to lunch at the Olea Restaurant Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates.
Received a new consignment of fair trade and fairly traded organic toys.
This December I was privileged and honoured to participate at the Swiss Business Council for the second time.
Many thanks to Ms Charoline Engel, Claudine and her team for organising another successful market.
It was lovely to finally meet the team from the Women's World Project, Manchester in association with The Pankhurst Centre.
I had a lovely afternoon meeting strong willed, ambitious, beautiful women.
During my visit to my home city of Manchester I attended the North West Regional Fair Trade Conference.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable intensive day and I was exhausted by its end and had to rest my poor shoulder.
Many thanks to Chrisi, Adam and the Fairtrade Foundation team for organising this event.
This year the World Fair Trade Organization asked for my support with their Anti Poverty Week 2017 campaign #LiveFair & #BeatPoverty.
During the week I attended a Coffee Morning organised by my friend Maryam and kindly asked ladies to support Anti-Poverty Week 2017, Dubai, UAE.
I talked about Fair Trade, Fair Trade Chocolate and Anti Poverty Week.
There were approximately 30 ladies present and I made a few fair trade friends.
I also asked my dear friend Joanna who was visiting me from Poland to model for me.
Joanna was a great sport and I am grateful for her support during Anti Poverty Week.
To read more please click here and support social and trade justice!
Thank you! Sabeena
This October I was interviewed by Voice of Islam Radio Station, London, UK.
My interview with Paksy Plackis-Chang and Impact Mania was released on Twitter and Facebook.
I presented fair trade to ladies at a coffee morning.
I finally had my surgery for my rotater cuff. My right shoulder is painful but healing.
I welcomed my friend Joanna Smieja from Poland. It was Joanna's first visit to Dubai and the UAE.
Suported Anti-Poverty Week 2017, Dubai, UAE.
Recorded my tribute to my beloved mother for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Received my ''This Is Manchester'' tribute book.
I was invited by Manor Primary School and children of Year 5 to talk about fair trade.
We started the lesson by watching the Max Havelaar Chocolate Song.
The world in my shopping basket - children learnt where fair trade products came from.
Year 5 tasted fairtrade Divine Milk Chocolate and Green & Blacks Maya Gold.
The children watched a fairtrade video about Tayna a young girl who visited cocoa farmers and their communities in the Dominican Republic.
Children learnt about the fair price, social premium, social standards and the environment.
The children showed their support for fair trade and we ended the session with lots of happy memories.
I hope they will be the future fair trade stars and campaigners in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates.
This September I am still tolerating the torn ligament in my right shoulder, however, I managed to Skype with Paksy Plackis-Cheng founder Impact Mania based in Calfornia, USA.
My tribute to my late mother was tweeted by the Women's Words Manchester project.
I received a wonderful birthday present my new business cards from my Creative Director Helen Barlow Scott.
Attended the Salam Sisters Network Dubai (SSND) monthly meeting.
Taught fair trade to Year 5 at the Manor Park Primary School, Dubai.
Attended the ZB Foundation lunch with founders Dani Wilson and Saima Khan and presented a fair trade talk to over a 100+ ladies.
Participated in Live Create Meditate event with Mariam Yasin and Amruta Kshemkalyani.
This August I was diagnosed with a torn ligament in my right shoulder which will require surgery and physiotherapy.
I finally managed to Skype with Dr Sara Calvo Martinez founder of Living in Minca and professor at the Middlesex University Business School, London.
My fair trade story was featured in the Story Exchange Women Mean Business website.
I organised meetings with Mr Daniel Ludvig and Mr Sayed of Sheraa, Sharjah.
Had coffee with Sandra Stephenson senior lecturer at the Middlesex University Dubai, and met founder and chairperson of ZBFoundation Dani Wilson and Saima Khan.
During October 2015 I had the privilege to interview Mr Stephen Salmon of Thaicraft, Bangkok, Thailand.
I had previously visited Thaicraft during 2009 and 2011 and was interested to learn about the history of the fair trade movement in Thailand.
Many thanks to Mr Salmon and his team for their time.
I was excited to finally meet with fair trade ethical, organic pioneer and research scientist Dr Mike Thair and Marketing Head Ms Le Thant Thuy at their head office Penang, Malaysia.
Dr Thair and Ms Le arranged for me to visit the Asia Community Centre and Stepping Stone Penang.
Many thanks to Hasra Othman (Manager), Shogu artist in residence from Osaka Japan and the other volunteers who took valuable time out of their schedules to show us the centre and its facilities.
I had the good fortune to visit Bruce Crowther, MBE during November 2016 and spent a morning learning how to produce fair trade chocolate bean to bar.
Fredrick is a member of the Kuapa Kukoo Farmers Cooperative Ghana, and it was wonderful feeling knowing he had grown the cocoa for our chocolate.
We began our chocolate making at the crack of dawn and I was nervous not to make any mistakes and spoil Bruce's batch of chocolate.
I have posted all the photographs chronologically as we produced the chocolate.
August 1st 2017 marks my mother’s 65th birthday.
My beloved mother was a ‘courageous woman, she was my first school of thought, love, compassion and my paradise.’
Mum was an extraordinarily humble, kind and charismatic lady.
She could strike up a conversation with anyone. An empathetic listener, amazing chef and gardener, she possessed a sharp wit and humour that would instantly lift your spirits.
This month I was I was approached by Ellen van Dongen of the Responsible Shopping Dubai website and asked if The Little Fair Trade Shop would like to be featured. I said YES!
Attended my first Dubai Vegan Meet Up, continued with my Who Made My Clothes course and was diagnosed with a painful frozen shoulder.
I spent most of August 2016 with my siblings in London and mustered the energy to board a train to historical York to visit Shared Earth and talk with founder and owner Jeremy Piercy.
Many thanks to David Piercy for his time and support during my visit.
The FIG Tree Garstang/Lancaster, United Kingdom
I first visited The Fig Tree October 2011 when it was a mere shell and was invited to a fair trade tea party, August 2012.
The enthusiasm, passion and the warm welcome I received was overwhelming and humbling. I was impressed by its amazing transformation.
I revisited The Fig Tree November 2016 where I was invited to participate in a Chocolate Master Class with the Godfather of Fairtrade Bruce Crowther MBE.
I fulfilled a life time ambition to visit Pakistan December 2011 and February 2015 and met the only two fair trade certified organisations in Karachi and Rawalpindi.
I also conducted interviews with a government official and non profit organisations who are working towards implementing the ten principles of fair trade. Each organisation has a dual role and purpose;
1. to support rural artisans establish and develop strong sustainable projects and
2. revive traditional skills and techniques.
I have attached interviews with Fairtrade and NGO's I visited during December January 2011/12 and February/March 2015.
THE DOMINION TRADERS
THE RA'ANA LIAQUAT CRAFTMEN'S COLONY
THE HOME BASED WOMEN'S WORKERS FEDERATION
AHAN - AIK HUNAR AIK NAGAR
KAARVAN CRAFTS - PRIDE PAKISTAN
AL FALAH TRUST AND EMBROIDERY PROJECT
The Ra'ana Liaquat Craftmen's Colony
Income Generation Programme
The Ra'ana Liaquat Craftmen's Colony was founded by Begum Ra'ana Liaquat, 1954.
I visited their inspirational headquarters and observed training workshops where ladies were taught to produce beautiful up-cycled products.
Mrs Nisreen was happy to share her story and work experiences. It was wonderful to learn how the income generation programme had empowered her and given her the opportunity to supplement her income by designing crochet products.
The Dominion Traders
Fairly traded Marble and Onyx Producers
The Dominion Traders have been promoting fair trade in Pakistan since 1947.
I had the good fortune of interviewing Mr Syed Fahad Ali, Chief Executive Officer and his team of talented artisans when I visited their offices and factory, December 2011.
Since it's inception the organisation has supported approximately 60 employees who are treated with the utmost love and respect. Employees receive fair wages, are employed in good working conditions and are provided with medical care.
KAARVAN CRAFTS - PRIDE PAKISTAN
Kaarvan's mission is to be a fairtrade market leader by producing and retailing affordable and sophisticated hand crafted products in local and export markets.
It provides employment opportunities and marketing and advisory services to women and girls in low income communities so that they can enhance their economic realities.
AHAN - AIK HUNAR AIK NAGAR
Ahan is a non profit company created by the Pakistani Industrial Corporation in 2006.
It has 4 offices based in Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta and Karachi.
It aims to provide employment for small marginalised craftsman and artisans around Pakistan.
It works to revive traditional handicrafts through skill enhancement, product development, technological output, quality control and market and financial support.
I was honoured to interview Dr Badar Siddiqui of The Al Falah Trust and Embroidery Project, December 2011.
The Al Falah Trust and Embroidery Project was founded by Mrs. Shahina Siddiqui in 1995.
The organisation supports disadvantaged and marginalised women from, Taluka, Mirpur, Sakhro, Thatha (Tatta) in the province of Sindh.
Traditional embroidery and home accessories are produced using traditional patterns and colours that promote their rich heritage which would otherwise be lost or forgotten.
I was privileged and honoured to interview Ms Zehra Khan, Mrs Jameela and many other ladies at the The Home Based Women's Workers Federation during December/January 2011 and February 2015.
The Home Based Women's Workers Federation with over 4600 members in Quetta (Balochistan) and Hyderabad and Karachi (Sindh).
It's main aim is to advocate and lobby for the rights of home based women workers in Pakistan.
The Federation provides training such as embroidery, leather production and jewellery and fashion design.
Ladies proficient in their chosen skills are selected to mentor and train ladies in their local areas and campaign for a decent living wage by negotiating fair prices through collective bargaining.
HBWWF hopes to develop international partners who can provide assistance with marketing, advertising and product development.
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