June's Featured Producer Partner | Mariam, Houri, Aida and Maral Traditional Embroidery by Women from Syria

HDIF's embroidery artisans from left to right:

Mariam is originally from Armenia, Yerevan. During the Soviet period in 1988, she got married and moved to Aleppo. Her stepmother taught her embroidery technique. First was “Van” embroidery, later “Marash” and “Ainteb”. She moved to Yerevan in 2012 with her three daughters who are now medical college students. Mariam’s daughters also learned embroidery and help her produce jewelry in their free time.

Houri is originally from Aleppo. She moved to Yerevan in 2015 because of the war. Houri is a twin, she has a sister who also makes embroidered jewelry. Both learned different techniques as young girls from their grandmother. The whole family was quite famous in Aleppo. People from different regions would come to their home to place orders. When the family moved to Armenia, they decided to continue their business.

Aida is from Marash, Syria. She moved with her family to Yerevan in 2012. There are six members in her family: Aida, her husband, her mother, and three daughters. In Syria, she used to be an Armenian language teacher at a preschool. Embroidery was a hobby for the girls in the family. When she came to Armenia, she found that the jewelry market was quite open and decided to sell her products. This decision proved to be a success.

Maral is originally from Aleppo, Syria. She learned embroidery techniques from her grandmother. When she lived Aleppo, embroidery wasn’t her business, but she used to embroider decorations for her home. This helped her start a business from the ground up in Armenia.  Now it is a main source of income for her family of five that includes her mother, and three sons, one of whom is a student in Canada.