Minjara marks the revival of Tripoli’s woodcraft industry and launches its first collection, Minjara Editions, in Paris.
Minjara, the furniture design brand and business support hub launched to help revive the woodcraft industry in the Lebanese city of Tripoli, has marked its success with a landmark exhibition in Paris.
Titled “Minjara Editions: Design Ethos meets Craftsmanship”, the exhibition of new furniture designs opened on Saturday September 7th at the residence of the Ambassador of Lebanon to France H.E. Mr. Rami Adwan.
Curated by Hala Moubarak, this collection features a delightfully diverse range of pieces showcasing the creative talents of several renowned designers and woodcrafters from the Tripoli.
While the city’s woodcraft industry has a rich legacy dating back 150 years, more recently, producers have found themselves struggling and facing several significant challenges. Under the Private Sector Development Program (PSD-P) funded by the European Union, implemented by Expertise France and in partnership with the Association of Lebanese Industrialists (ALI), Minjara is playing a major role in helping Tripoli revive the sector and restore it to its former glory by creating a modern vision for producers built on the rich heritage of yesteryear. It is also setting strict quality regulations, helping producers to secure access to market and identifying untapped opportunities.
Minjara includes a physical facility located at the iconic Rachid Karami International Fair in Tripoli, where designers and manufacturers meet to develop and showcase their best creations. The platform also serves as a showroom for furniture pieces produced under the Minjara brand.
Commenting at the opening of the exhibition, the Lebanese Ambassador to France H.E. Mr. Rami Adwan described “Minjara Editions” as both a tribute to the ancestral knowhow handed down by Lebanese carpenters over several generations and an invitation to discover the brilliance of the designers who have helped reinvent wooden furniture while respecting its traditions. “By bringing back Tripolitan craftsmanship, Minjara has established a strong identity and a symbolic local anchorage,” he said. “It illustrates the Lebanese uniqueness, where secular legacy embraces the most innovative ideas in total harmony.”
Jérémie Pellet, the Director General of Expertise France mentioned that « the ambition of the PSD-P program is to strengthen the competitiveness of the players in the sector ». Thanks to a successful collaboration with carefully selected partners, the Program has paved the way for the first collection of Minjara furniture to be launched. “Envisioned by Lebanese designers and created by Tripoli’s craftsmen, ‘Minjara Editions’ is the first fruit of the program,” he said. “Minjara is, at the same time, a marketing strategy with a trademark, a recognizable quality label and a service platform.”
Curator Hala Moubarak said the exhibition reaffirmed that in an era when the world is shifting inexorably towards technology, artificial intelligence and robotics, some had the courage to go against the flow. “Designers, creators and developers have clearly taken a side and are standing with the artisan, the handmade crafts, reaching out to those who, over many generations, learned to make and continue to do so,” she noted. “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to reveal the wealth of talent among artisans operating in Tripoli and relay the results of their work to a wider audience.”
The work has been produced in collaboration with several Lebanese designers and Tripolitan artisans, namely: Samer Alameen x Okajian (Aram, Lévon and Vahé Okajian), ‘Architecture et Mécanismes’ (Céline and Tatiana Stephan) x Mohamad El Kout, Ahmad Bazazo x Mohamed Masri, Sahar Bizri x Jihad Toros and Jamal Korek, Borgi Bastormagi (Nada Borgi and Etienne Bastormagi) x Jamal Korek, 1% Architecture (Waldemar Faddoul) x Elie Mouchaham and Jamal Bitar, MAD Architecture x Okajian (Aram, Lévon and Vahé Okajian), Elie Metni x Elie Mouchaham, Thomas Trad x Jihad Toros, Mohasseb + Asli (Georges Mohasseb and Kareen Asli) x Mohamed Masri and Jamal Bitar.
The exhibition will stay on show till September 17th, 2019 from 12pm till 8pm, upon appointment.
“Minjara Editions” first collection will be exhibited again in Lebanon from September 24th to 26th.