In the absence of a national recycling program, some Jordanians have taken a creative approach to make use of the trash they see going to waste around them. In 2008, Hana Faouri established a community space called Khorda in Jabal Al-Webdeh, where she coordinates a number of projects that involve working with communities to recycle old materials into handmade crafts.
What do you make out of old materials?
We have a project with different women in a number of different governorates making handmade products. One of them is in Sahab where we teach the women how to fuse and weave plastic bags and how to make bags, shade lamps, and things like that out of them. Because Sahab is an industrial area it has a lot of scrap yards where you can find a lot of materials. So we have made lots of furniture from objects we found there. Basically we reuse old materials in a way that can make them functional again.
What was the initial idea behind Khorda?
I wanted it to be a space where people could come and sell their products and connect with each other to develop other projects. And I wanted it to be a community space where people can also teach workshops. I also wanted to do something more with my hands, using affordable materials, so I started with recycled materials.
Why do you think it’s important to use recycled materials?
I think it’s a very good way of making money for the communities we work with because the cost is really nothing. It is the perfect solution to reuse old materials in a creative way to make something valuable. We consume a lot in our culture and there’s a lot of waste so I feel that it’s a natural reaction to what’s happening.