Community & Culture Decor & Style Inspiration Refugees

Beads to Empower

Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women who have her back –this holds true around the world, across the cultures – from ASU Barrett Honors Ladies to refugee women! Love as I do the run-of-the-mill teas and weddings, the best moments are however these celebrations of success!! My dear friends back in Arizona are working hard to equip women refugees with skills and resources in the process of resettling in the US.

I was introduced to this amazing project called “Beads to Empower” by a very good friend, Tan. She works on various platforms to help  refugees in the process of their reestablishment in Phoenix, Arizona and Arizona Muslim’s Women Association of Arizona (AMWA) is one of the organizations that has supported this cause consistently. This jewelry project is a microenterprise program by AMWA. The project empowers refugee women by promoting training and employability to become self-sufficient. The women are provided with jewelry making classes and supplies. Two of these ladies made this beautiful jewelry for AMWA’s event. I was fortunate to be part of the refugee life for a very short time and volunteered to photograph these beautiful pieces and later set up the booth for AMWA’s event.

JewelryJewelry1Jewelry2Jewelry3Jewelry4Jewelry5Jewelry6Jewelry8A lot of work goes into these projects. We are not talking about and hobbies turning into “dream-come-true” businesses here or convenient entrepreneurship resulting from passions for art and crafts that are enjoyed at our leisure times; we are talking about serious work, commitment and fortitude for all the parties involved. In unfortunate circumstances of leaving home and a prosperous life, in new land and unfamiliar surroundings, motivation does not come easy. For the refugees, coming to the US is a privilege unquestionably but learning the skills, new ways in a different culture is a very overwhelming experience and at the same time necessary for their survival. On the other hand, for people who run and volunteer for these projects, the commitment is not only to devote time and resources but to constantly encourage and boost the morale of this displaced population. Consistent work of teams from these sincere agencies however continues to make difference in lives of these refugees. One such success story is that of Fatimah. AMWA has helped her open her facebook page. She has her business up and running, providing beautiful jewlery to wear and gift! Please do visit her page and support her.

Jewelry9Jewelry7A word about AMWA: The platform of AMWA was built in 1997 with commitment to improve lives of disadvantaged women from all ethnic and religious backgrounds. To date, the organization has played an instrumental role in enabling women in vulnerable situations to carry not only their own burden but also their families’. For refugee women, other than Beads to Empower, they have started programs like Sew for Success and Balloon Twisting and Face Painting. All this and much more is done to for the betterment and positive change in the lives of women in need. If you are interested in knowing more about AMWA, volunteering or just getting inspired, visit their website to see the awesome work they are busy in.

About Author

Hi and welcome to my blog!

My name is Riffat and I am the writer behind this blog. Through this blog I share many things I am enthusiastic about – my curated items from old era, passion for tea and tea parties, design and décor, DIY projects. I specifically like to create themed and seasonal parties incorporating vintage treasures. I am married to an awesome guy who has {a good case of} wanderlust and is a grand but healthy foodie. Occasionally I will be journaling and sharing his experiences in travel, recipes and restaurant reviews. On my blog you will also get to meet our 3 amazing boys – the oldest is neuro-diverse and his being on the spectrum has given a different and incredible meaning to our family! I would be a very different person without him. Besides enjoying my family and this blog, I am a full-time speech and language pathologist.

We recently moved to Dallas from Arizona. Back there, I ran a vintage china rental and sales business. I had the pleasure of working with some amazing vendors in the event industry and got featured on many international and national blogs. I started blogging specific to my collection but recently switched to life style blogging to touch more aspects of life.

Originally from Pakistan, I am a multicultural and multilingual person and enjoy diversity to its fullest. I welcome new things and ways and learn from them but believe in restoring and preserving as well. I love people who inspire each other, are successful holistically, spread positive vibes and make a difference in this world for themselves and individuals around them. Overall, I strive to be a very well-balanced person and this blog plays some part in achieving that!

I absolutely love to team up with creative minds! Feel free to contact me for style consultation, photo shoots, vintage & antique articles, tea parties and hand-made items. I also do product reviews and feature items on my blog. I have a small shop on etsy featuring my collection and hand-made items.

(7) Comments

  1. Salute to them and am resident of india n evn i wanna support them how can i support them pls tell

  2. […] children and women (I blogged sometime ago about another projecct she was instrumental in: “Beads to Empower“). She had started multiple projects that focused on betterment of their lives from getting […]

  3. Saba Khan says:

    Riffat – thank you for such a beautiful blog. Absolutely LOVE all the pics that depict all the jewelry so beautifully. When we started Beads to Empower at AMWA, all our inspiration came from the Tuscon Gem show where Asna and I spent a whole day just shopping for beads and tools to start these refugee ladies off with their business. From Tan, Nausheen, Asna, Sadaf (for beautiful photography), Bonita, you, and so many awesome women to the women who decided to take it to the next level and make it their passion…it truly took a village of us women to elevate more women. Thank you for highlighting AMWA and I too miss all my wonderful friends including you 🙂

  4. Thanks AMWA for directing Sharon! I will also update the post for her shop link.

  5. Sharon Walter says:

    I would like to order, but need to know the prices, item numbers and how to order. Thank you.

    1. Sharon, I will let you know asap. Thanks so much for your support!

    2. Hello Sharon,
      AMWA now has an Etsy shop that is currently selling Fatima’s items. We will soon be adding items from our sewing program for refugees.
      You can buy items at the link here:

Leave a Reply to Tea CrockeryCancel reply

%d bloggers like this: