Arab culture, history & future through dress...

In the week we celebrate International Women’s Day, CMEC Director, Charlotte Leslie, speaks to the founder of The Zay Initiative, Dr. Reem El Mutwalli, about her work.

Dr Reem is the founder of The Zay Initiative. The Zay’s mission is to advance the preservation of Arab cultural heritage through the collection, preservation and digital archiving of Arab historical dress - and crucially, the stories it tells of countries across the Middle East and north Africa.

This growing collection started with UAE traditional dress and is ever expanding to include dress from all over the Arab world, so far from Palestine, Syria, and Lebanon - to Yemen, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabi, Kuwait and Iraq,- to Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Libya and Sudan. It includes examples acquired from the simplest rural families to the ruling families of the region.

Dr. Reem provides a unique insight into a world seldom explored in policy circles, focussing on the work, experiences and voice of women throughout the ages in the Arab world, to the modern day.

Charlotte Leslie is an Honorary Patron of The Zay Initiative.

The views expressed in the recording are those of the speakers alone.