- Title: Meet the Jordanian female carpenter carving out her place in a man's world
- Date: 29th August 2021
- Summary: AMMAN, JORDAN (AUGUST 24, 2021) (REUTERS) JORDANIAN FEMALE CARPENTER, ZAIN AL-JILANI, SMILING AND CARVING WOOD VARIOUS OF AL-JILANI REMOVING OLD PIECES OF WOOD (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) JORDANIAN FEMALE CARPENTER, ZAIN AL-JILANI, SAYING: "I love wood and I know that I want to be a female carpenter and I did not hesitate. I have known that I love wood since my childhood and I like to create things out of wood. I am a carpenter. But in society, there is a person who is the most famous wood vendor here (in Amman), who has refused to sell me pieces of wood during the past three years because I am a women. He kept saying, 'Go find work suited for girls'." AL-JILANI PREPARING HER EQUIPMENT AL-JILANI'S EQUIPMENT AL-JILANI RENOVATING A PIECE OF FURNITURE AL-JILANI WHILE WORKING AL-JILANI RENOVATING A PIECE OF FURNITURE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) JORDANIAN FEMALE CARPENTER, ZAIN AL-JILANI, SAYING: "I hated watching for example this piece left in the garbage, I really hate this. Why? You do this because you want to buy a new piece that is not made out of good wood. The pieces around me that I managed to collect drew me more to becoming a carpenter. It made me like it even more." VARIOUS OF AL-JILANI SMOOTHING A PIECE OF FURNITURE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) JORDANIAN FEMALE CARPENTER, ZAIN AL-JILANI, SAYING: "First of all, software engineering (her degree) is not related to what I am doing right now at all. They are two topics that are not related at all. I like programming but at the same time I like working with my hands." VARIOUS OF AL-JILANI'S MOBILE FILMING HER WHILE WORKING (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) JORDANIAN FEMALE CARPENTER, ZAIN AL-JILANI, SAYING: "As a Jordanian carpenter, you need to show what you are seeing in your country and show your heritage, as well as the things we are used to seeing. This is our identity." VARIOUS OF AL-JILANI RENOVATING A PIECE OF FURNITURE VARIOUS OF AL-JILANI SMOKING 16 AL-JILANI CHECKING HER WORK AL-JILANI CUTTING PIECES OF WOOD 18 VARIOUS OF AL-JILANI PAINTING A PIECE OF WOOD AMMAN, JORDAN (AUGUST 26, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF AL-JILANI COVERING A PIECE OF FURNITURE WITH BUBBLE WRAP VARIOUS OF AL-JILANI AND A DRIVER CARRYING THE PIECE TO A BUS VARIOUS OF AL-JILANI IN THE BUS AL-JILANI AND DRIVER TRANSPORTING THE PIECE OF FURNITURE TO THE CLIENT'S HOUSE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ONE OF AL-JILANI'S CLIENTS, SARA JABER, SAYING: "Being a female carpenter is strange in our culture. It is very nice though and I support her because women are able to do anything. We have to overcome the culture of shame and it is good to pursue anything we like." VARIOUS OF JABER LOOKING AT HER NEW PIECE OF FURNITURE
- Embargoed: 12th September 2021 13:21
- Keywords: Amman Carpenter Female carpenter Jordan Women empowerment
- Location: AMMAN, JORDAN
- City: AMMAN, JORDAN
- Country: Jordan
- Topics: Living/Lifestyle,Middle East,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA001ESC1179
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Every morning, female carpenter Zain al-Jilani toils away with great determination, the sharp sound of sawing, hammering and scraping echoing through the brown walls of her basement-turned-workshop.
Covered in sawdust, the 29-year-old brings her artistic passion to life every day, creating and selling pieces of furniture patterned with Jordanian traditional heritage to clients across the capital Amman.
"I like working with my hands," she said, adding that her love of carpentry began in her childhood.
One of Jordan's very few female carpenters, al-Jilani says that things have not been easy in the male-dominated profession, where on occasion other traders will refuse to work with her because she is a woman.
"Go find work suited for girls," said al-Jilani, quoting a famous wood owner who for three years refused to sell her materials.
Al-Jilani learnt carpentry by watching videos on Youtube and then by interning at a carpentry shop for several months.
She first set up her workshop in her family-home basement in March 2020, when the government imposed a lockdown across the country due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Her small business is quickly turning into a lucrative one, with many of her clients eager to break Jordan's culture of shame by supporting al-Jilani's ambitions.
"It is very nice though and I do support her because women are able to do anything," said Sara Jaber, a client of al-Jilani.
(Production: Muath Freij, Nadeen Ebrahim)
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