Recently I organised a trip on the bus from our compound to go to the” Sleysla Centre“, part of the Al-Faisalya Women Welfare Society. I had spoken to “Sanna” the head of administration about coming along. She kindly said that we could go into the workshops to see the women at work, after we had finished looking at the store. So this was an added bonus for us.
The “Sleysla Centre” is instrumental in helping orphan women and girls. Here they are trained to make and create traditional handicrafts & modern heritage arts of Saudi Arabia, in order to help them to become self sufficient and financially independent.
A few of us were on the bus. All excited to be doing something different than the usual shopping centre run. The “Sleysla Centre” was expecting us. When we arrived we were greeted by their friendly staff and were offered dates and Arabic tea. We were all pleasantly surprised by the surroundings of the “Sleysla Centre”. It was tastefully decorated with the items that were for sale. A number of bay windows had lovely displays set up in them with hand made curtains draped over them. It was a real joy to wander around. The more you wandered the more you would see.
The quality and detail of the women’s work is quite amazing. Well worth the money. The Sleysla Centre has trained them well. Such beautiful traditional and modern items. Lovely colourfully painted bowls, vibrant paintings, quality clothes and shoes, handmade exquisite boxes, embroidered, crocheted bags, decorative tables and traditional furniture…
They also do commission work for companies and individuals. great for corporate gifts or incentives for work colleges. In fact they are happy to create something in particular that you may desire.
After we had all finished buying our goodies we were taken to the workshop/s. We were expecting one workshop. To our amazement there was several of them. Long corridors were lined with rugs and art on the walls all made by the women. Sculptures, large decoratively painted wooden boxes and hand painted traditional pottery.
As we went from one room to the next, the ladies were all happy to see us. They were busy on sewing machines stitching crafts. Some were making jewellery, and ceramics. Others were busy painting on pottery, jugs and boxes. In fact one girl was painting a gorgeous colourful camel on a trinket box. I loved it and said “Is this for someone” she said “yes’. I asked if I would be able to order one to get made. She said “yes” so I promptly ordered one.
It was a wonderful experience at the “Sleysla Centre“. It made you feel good to know that you were buying such professionally made items, while at the same time your contributions were going to good cause. I bought a few items as did many of us. We all loaded our items onto the bus and went home happy.
For information about the “Sleysla Centre” see below.
It is located just behind IMC hospital in Jeddah opposite the park next to emergency entrance. (Sleysla Centre)