With Christmas just around the corner, we thought we’d put together a Wishlist for Arabic students / anyone interested in the Middle East! We’ve got the perfect selection of stocking fillers from, or inspired by the Middle East and North Africa, with an emphasis on small businesses and brands that support local creatives or social causes. Send it to your nearest and dearest to give them a friendly nudge in the right direction this Christmas!
Don’t worry, Hans Wehr didn’t make the cut (but if you got that reference then this list is definitely for you!).
This year we launched our signature collection of stunning silver jewellery from Oman on Etsy. With a selection of beautiful earrings and pendants reflecting some of the cornerstones of Omani culture, our jewellery is perfect for anyone with an interest in Oman or the wider region. We also donate a third of our profits to Saba Relief, which works with victims of the conflict in Yemen (Sign up to the Hump Day Newsletter for 10% off!).
This beautiful, colourful collection of earrings is handcrafted by Syrian refugee women in Istanbul. Muhra is a social enterprise that seeks to empower women affected by conflict and help them rebuild their lives.
“Working with this project feels like living as a family, as part of the community center.”
Many a tourist has left Marrakech with a tightly packed Berber rug in their suitcase. For those who didn’t buy one – and regretted it! – Berberology has got you covered. Their gorgeous range of carpets, cushions and throws will help you turn your home (or uni room) into a Moroccan paradise.
Zaytoun’s delicious food products from Palestine speak for themselves. This year they are offering special gift sets for Christmas – the perfect present for your foodie friend!
Intibint, as she calls herself on Instagram, is a talented Yemeni illustrator, singer and proud advocate for women’s rights. She sells t-shirts and tote bags with her illustrations and donates 50% of her profits to charities in Yemen.
“Women are the future”
The 7 Virtues is a fragrance company founded by journalist Barb Stegemann with the mission of supporting communities rebuilding after conflict and disaster. Her work began in Afghanistan, where sourcing legal orange blossom and rose essential oil crops freed Afghan farmers from the illegal poppy crop and liberated their daughters from becoming young opium brides. She has since created perfumes with ingredients from Israel/Palestine, Rwanda, Haiti and India.
“My real job is to make rebuilding more exciting than destruction. I do this through perfume.”
Evelyn Naon’s alcohol-free oil perfumes incorporate some of the ancient rituals and the most luxurious ingredients that were passed along the Silk Routes of old. Her signature scents, Salalah and Ibiza al Oud trace her own lineage, as her ancestors moved from Yemen to southern Spain hundreds of years ago. She is an inspiring small business owner who wants to use scent to break down the cultural and geographical borders that separate us. Message her on Instagram to order!
This funky, Arabic take on that famous Friends sweater will impress your classmates and keep you warm! All of Velveteee’s products are designed by Fatima, a Syrian illustrator based in Turkey who started the brand with the aim of infusing Western street culture with a Middle Eastern aesthetic.
Chabi Chic offers a range of stylish clothing, accessories, homeware, and beauty products inspired by Moroccan culture and tradition, but with a distinctly modern twist. Their ceramic products, which are handmade by Moroccan craftsmen in traditional Moroccan patterns, will bring a hint of Marrakech to your home.
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