“Sleysla Centre” Traditional Saudi Handicrafts in Jeddah

Sleysla Centre 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)

Sleysla Centre


  • joeven says:

    Thanks for the relevant info on this blog Lyn! I have a cultural mapping assignment and had difficulties in asking about the materials of native baskets that they are making. Was it made in Saudi Arabia from the date palm leaves? Only if you have asked them, if not it’s ok.

  • Emilio Fernandez says:

    Good morning how are you?

    My name is Emilio, I am a Spanish boy and I live in a town near to Madrid. I am a very interested person in knowing things so different as the culture, the way of life of the inhabitants of our planet, the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes of all the countries of the world etc. in summary, I am a person that enjoys traveling, learning and respecting people’s diversity from all over the world.

    I would love to travel and meet in person all the aspects above mentioned, but unfortunately as this is very expensive and my purchasing power is quite small, so I devised a way to travel with the imagination in every corner of our planet. A few years ago I started a collection of used stamps because trough them, you can see pictures about fauna, flora, monuments, landscapes etc. from all the countries. As every day is more and more difficult to get stamps, some years ago I started a new collection in order to get traditional letters addressed to me in which my goal was to get at least 1 letter from each country in the world. This modest goal is feasible to reach in the most part of countries, but unfortunately it’s impossible to achieve in other various territories for several reasons, either because they are countries at war, either because they are countries with extreme poverty or because for whatever reason the postal system is not functioning properly.

    For all this I would ask you one small favor:
    Would you be so kind as to send me a letter by traditional mail from Saudi Arabia? I understand perfectly that you think that your blog is not the appropriate place to ask this, and even, is very probably that you ignore my letter, but I would call your attention to the difficulty involved in getting a letter from that country, and also I don’t know anyone neither where to write in Saudi Arabia in order to increase my collection. a letter for me is like a little souvenir, like if I have had visited that territory with my imagination and at same time, the arrival of the letters from a country is a sign of peace and normality and an original way to promote a country in the world. My postal address is the following one:

    Emilio Fernandez Esteban
    Calle Valencia, 39
    28903 Getafe (Madrid)

    If you wish, you can visit my blog http://www.cartasenmibuzon.blogspot.com where you can see the pictures of all the letters that I have received from whole World.

    Finally I would like to thank the attention given to this letter, and whether you can help me or not, I send my best wishes for peace, health and happiness for you, your family and all your dear beings.

    Yours Sincerely

    Emilio Fernandez

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