The traditional greetings card – but with edgy, innovative Arabic language themes and imaginative bold designs – is undergoing a revival in town and cities across Palestine.
Loz Project, founded by Maysa Al Shaer, a 24-year-old entrepreneur and social media specialist from the northern town of Jenin, is looking to revive Arabian folk culture through designs and colloquial Palestinian expressions.
“I am a big admirer of the Arabic language and I wanted to do something to support this language and show its beauty,” says Al Shaer.
“I also love greetings cards, which are disappearing as e-cards are taking over. This is how the idea of Loz Project came up.
By naming her project ‘Loz’ (Arabic for almond) Al Shaer said she wanted to stress the joy, love and beauty the almond blossoming season brings.
She said: “Loz greeting cards (which sells for less than $2) are all about the Palestinian culture and the things we say every day.
“Many cards focus on the Palestinian popular dishes, and the bond between different food items such as oil and thyme, watermelon and cheese, zucchini and grapevines, almonds and salt, and many others.”
Al Shaer was part of a trade delegation which visited the UK, where she received entrepreneurial advice from mentors at the University of Bath’s Innovation Centre after winning the Young Palestinian Entrepreneur competition.
She said: “I think what people like about Loz cards is their fresh sense of humour and wittiness. You cannot help but smile when you read the cards.
“The first card I designed is so dear to me. It was about the bond between oil and thyme in the Palestinian cuisine and it carries out a sentence my father says frequently. It translates something like ‘Stick around, and you’ll be happy.’
In less than two years, Loz Project has succeeded in reaching all Palestine’s cities. The cards are also available in gift shops in Amman, Dubai and Cairo.