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Women artisans steal the show at Lok Virsa

ISLAMABAD: Women artisans demonstrating their skills at the ongoing Pakistan Week Celebrations at Lok Virsa have become most popular among the visitors for the last four days.

The most prominent among them are Rehana Anees in Sindhi embroidery, Fehmida Malik, Munaza and Musarart in Punjabi embroidery, Fouzia Naheed in doll making, Ambreen in traditional toys, Sadaf Aziz in Motikari, Anam Nawaz in Multani Tanka, Tasleem Bibi in Hazara Phulkari, Sultana and Haji Bibi in Hunza embroidery.

These artisans stand out not only for their excellence but also for the tireless propagation of their ancient arts.

Fouzia Naheed while talking to Dawn said she has been making dolls for decades. “I and my daughter make dolls with cloth and cotton. We make cultural dresses for dolls and also make bridal dresses due to which children especially girls take interest in them. It is difficult to make dolls by hands,” she said.

Male artisans are also equally good in showing their artwork. Zulfiqar Ghazi specialises in the famous Kashmiri art of “papier mache”. He excels not only in the art of papier mache and miniature but is also an accomplished artist in stain glass, fabric designing and traditional furniture painting.

Ghazi paints nature, floral motifs, birds, animals and Mughal monarchs. He has participated in many festivals, fairs and exhibitions in the country and abroad and won cash prizes and certificates.

Haji Habibur Rehman from Punjab is the master artisan in the truck art. This art is not only done on the bodies of trucks but also on other vehicles like buses, tankers, minibuses, rickshaws, tongas and even donkey carts.

Deedar Ali in patti weaving (woven strip made from sheep wool) from Gilgit-Baltistan is seen actively demonstrating his workmanship. Talking to mediapersons, Lok Virsa’s executive director Khalid Javaid said “Pakistan with its rich and varied heritage has a craft tradition of more than 9,000 years dating back to the Mehergarh civilization in Balochistan.”

The celebrations will continue till January 7 from 11am to 6pm.