“Moawad”…a refugee who inherited the bamboo industry and excelled in it

Beirut – Dina Farwana – Safa Special

In his father’s workshop, full of the fragrance of heritage and the authenticity of history, and among the heirlooms mixed with the fragrant past and the authenticity of the present, the Palestinian refugee in Beirut, Imad Moawad, chose to follow the path of his grandfather and his parents in the bamboo industry, in order to preserve this profession from extinction, and to keep his ancient Palestinian heritage.

His grandfather started working in this profession since he was transferred from the city of Jaffa in the occupied Palestinian interior to Lebanon in 1948, then he bequeathed it to his children and grandchildren, who inherited it generation after generation, and despite the passage of decades on it, it has retained its value among other professions.

Moawad transferred the profession of his ancestors from the ancient methods to the modernity of the present, giving it modern touches that speak of beauty and splendor, refusing to be fully integrated into his official work, to be a faithful heir of his father’s profession.

From grandparents to children

Refugee Moawad (41 years old), who lives in Beirut, says: “My father (69 years old) has worked in the bamboo trade since he was ten years old, having learned it from his father, who helped him into straw baskets and stools, and many of the products he distributed in the market”.

Moawad explains, in his interview with the “Safa” agency, that his father mastered the profession of bamboo industry, until he became inconspicuous in this profession.

He added, “I started working with my father during the school holidays and helped him produce large quantities of bamboo pieces, and at that time he gained modest experience, but today, after dedicating himself to the profession, he has great mastery professionalism.”

Moawad chose to stay in the profession of his father and grandfather, over his administrative job in a company working in the trade and manufacture of iron, which he left 8 months ago to devote himself to work.

Moawad says about this: “When my father got old, and his health did not help him to work in this profession, because it requires a lot of physical strength, I found myself by his side, learned from him everything I needed had, and did all that he asked of me.”

He added, “I chose to leave my job to work in the profession of my father and my grandfather, who got great love from me, so I learned it in a very short period of time. When I was young , I had little experience, but now, I surprised my father with my talent, so that he became dependent on me, without giving me any knowledge of my work.” “.

Moawad points out that, despite his company’s insistence 3 months ago, for his return to work, he has determined that he will work part-time; So he can work in his father’s workshop.

bamboo industry

“The bamboo industry begins by heating it over a fire to shape it, because fire reduces its hardness, so we can bend it and give it the shape we want. Safa”.

And he states that “after the first process, we make a number of shapes, and put them together with screws and nails, so that they take the shape of a chair, a table or any shape we want to make.”

Regarding the pieces and shapes that his father used to produce, he shows that he made very complex designs for dining rooms, living rooms and bedrooms, in addition to swings, kitchens and parlors, and explains that his father used to spread children’s to spread. beds made of bamboo to material factories for upholstery and export.

Bamboo, a wild plant, grows on the banks of rivers and in swamps and natural water basins in tropical countries.

And since bamboo does not grow in the countries of the Middle East, and its cultivation does not succeed; It is imported from Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and its neighboring countries.

Regarding the problems and challenges Moawad faces, he explains that the profession’s products are relatively expensive. Due to its processing until it becomes usable, in addition to the high shipping costs, and the need for a lot of time to produce it; Being a craft, and because bamboo is very hard.

Professional development

With the development of lifestyles, and the modernity that has accompanied the production of home furniture, Moawad explains that he is developing the bamboo industry profession, and teaching it to people so that it remains continuous.

He indicates that he plans to develop vocational equipment; To facilitate the manufacturing process, by converting the method of bending bamboo from fire to water vapor, by introducing it into a steam furnace; because it produces strong heat and does not burn bamboo, in addition to making molds to speed up the production process; Instead of bending it by hand, it is placed in a mold that takes the desired shape.

Regarding his design development, he notes that he brought iron and wood along with bamboo into their workshop and created “very beautiful” designs from iron and bamboo.

He adds: “For example, the legs of the chair to be made of iron, and the upper part of straw woven by hand on iron.”

He states that “no one in the country has done this work before me,” and explains that these updates were not difficult for him. Because of his expertise in both iron and bamboo.

A C/R Sh

Leave a Comment