The Initiative

The numbers are stark with child mortality above 25%, an average lifespan of 44 years, and 42% of the population living on less than $1 per day. This is the reality of modern day Afghanistan. It was this poverty that moved Her Highness Sheikha Fatema Bint Mohammed Bin Zayed to establish FBMI, an Initiative dedicated to alleviating this long-term distress, by providing resources, compassion and the opportunity for impoverished women to free themselves from economic hardship and take a leading role in Afghanistan’s future.

By partnering with Tanweer Investments based in Afghanistan, Fatema Bint Mohammed Bin Zayed’s aim is to create sustainable development by empowering women. The Initiative provides women with employment in the carpet production process, an industry they already possess skills in. It also offers them and their families critical social services in healthcare and education. The result is a holistic effort whose benefits are seen not only in fruitful employment, but also in healthier and happier families and communities.

With 3,000 low income Afghans employed, FBMI has already achieved significant success in helping the people of Afghanistan to help themselves. It is testament to the vision and commitment of Her Highness that so much has been accomplished already, and how much more is to come.

employment

"The numbers give a sense of scale, but it is the light in the eyes of the people involved that tells the real story."

The basic premise of the FBMI programme is to provide sustainable opportunity. Women in particular are empowered by using the weaving and spinning skills they already possess, supported further with vocational training. By providing the resources they require, such as looms and wool, and paying a fair market rate for their work, the Initiative gives women their dignity to feed and care for their families as well as support the wider community.

FBMI currently employs almost 3,000 low income Afghans; over 70% of them are women and 35% of them are widows. The majority engage in spinning and weaving activities from the comfort of their home. Others hold office positions in the headquarter facilities in Kabul and Jalalabad. Many of them are residents of refugee camps. As the organization and the Initiative grows, it will seek to expand into new areas of Afghanistan, and to serve as a role model for other like Initiatives to improve the life of Afghanistan’s citizens.

In addition to those actively involved in carpet production, the Initiative also contributes to the employment of medical, educational, vocational and administrative staff. These are particularly important in ensuring that the social and welfare aspects are in line with its commercial sustainability, a core component of its long term aims.

Social Services

A unique and integral part of this model is to provide the families of working women with critical social services. The Initiative is open to all Afghan women over the age of 15 years. These women are required to sign a contract of accountability, an undertaking to participate in the healthcare programme and ensure that all children attend school. FBMI social service providers register families and conduct house visits to ensure this. As a result, the health of the employees, their families and the entire community is improved and the scourge of child labour eradicated.

Education

FBMI’s education department works to prevent child labour with a positive focus on facilitating education. All children under the age of 15, boys and girls, must attend full-time education and FBMI supervisors work closely with the schools to ensure attendance. There is a total of 7,032 children currently enrolled. In addition, women receive adult life training in health and hygiene, literacy, numeracy, and vocational subjects.

Healthcare

Free healthcare is provided to all FBMI employees and their families. Doctors visit registered family homes once a month to conduct health checks and provide vaccinations. In addition, FBMI medical staff provide on-site health education and dispense essential supplies such as soap, masks and simple medications. Patients requiring additional attention are referred to local hospitals, where FBMI has secured agreements and has since treated approximately 2,000 employees for illness and pre-natal care. In that effort, FBMI’s ambulance continues to provide emergency support to the local communities.

Impact and Benefits

The obvious and immediate benefit of the FBMI Program is to create a revenue stream whereby participants can regain their lives with confidence and dignity. This revenue stream is complemented by the provision of healthcare and education to ensure healthy, productive and peaceful communities. It is estimated that the entire operation has spread the benefits of sustainable economic development to more than 18,000 individuals in Kabul and Jalalabad.

However, much attention is paid to ensuring maximum benefit for the wider community, such as buying and using only indigenous wool to support nomadic farmers. This has a further benefit of enhancing the value of the finished product by guaranteeing its 100% Afghan origin.

Environmental impact is also closely monitored and minimized. As part of FBMI’s environmental awareness commitment, environmentally friendly chemical-free vegetable dye is used. In addition, any contaminated water is stored in septic tanks and disposed of correctly, ensuring that the Kabul River is not polluted.

The Initiative focuses its efforts on those who need its support the most, the poorest and most disadvantaged in society. Employment is provided for those living in refugee camps near the Pakistan Border, and a further extension of the Initiative provides vital employment for 80 women at a production facility established within Badam Bagh Prison in Kabul.

About Afghan Carpets

A fundamental tenet of FBMI is to be commercially viable and sustainable in the long term. In order to achieve this, it operates a local value chain entirely within Afghanistan; buying local wool to support farmers, using natural vegetable dyes in the spinning operations, and producing finished carpets for export to world markets.

The carpets reflect the heritage of cottage-based craftsmanship passed through generations of families. The majority of carpets produced by the initiative are made from indigenous Afghan wool purchased from nomads that is then handspun to add to the quality. Out of over 900 breeds of sheep, only a select few qualify to meet the quality requirements of the wool used in the production of fine carpets. Only the best section of the sheep's fleece is used for each carpet. The finest quality wool used by the initiative ensures the carpets pile strength, sheen, smoothness and durability. The initiative also produces carpets that are a combination of wool and silk. All carpets are woven using a cotton foundation to ensure strength, reduce shrinkage and guarantee the rug will keep its shape.

The carpets are designed by local university students who are supervised by Afghanistan’s most famous carpet designer. Designs are both contemporary and dated using antique motifs from carpets that are centuries old. Full scale graph paper is used which indicates to the weaver the color for each knot. Every knot is represented by a tiny square similar to pixels. Another key determinant of the fineness of a carpet is the number of knots; the more intricate and finer the knotting, the higher the quality of the carpet. The initiative further works to tackle environmental degradation through the use of natural vegetable dyes and traditional washing methods; thus ensuring no environmental damage to the Kabul River, which runs into Pakistan and eventually joins the Indus.

Carpet Care

As formidable skill is involved in their creation of hand knotted Afghan carpets, they are designed to withstand most normal use and require surprisingly little care. To maintain the natural beauty of the carpet, it is advised to vacuum normally, although professional care may also be sought occasionally. In the event of a spill, clean a spill immediately before it has a chance to set. First, scrape excess liquid, before dabbing dry with a cloth. To remove stains, simply use a cloth dabbed in warm soapy water. Avoid harsh hand movements.

Collection

AGRA
ANTIQUE EMBLEM
ANTIQUE TREE
BLOSSOM
BLUE SEA
BOLD
BRILLIANCE
BUTTERFLY
CHOCOLATE
CLASSIC
COCO
COURAGE
CRAZE
CREATIVE MAMLUK
DREAM
ELEGANCE
FROST
GARDEN
HAREEZ
INSPIRATION
KHOTAN
MEDALLION
PACIFIC BROWN
PACIFIC ORANGE
PALACE
PARISIAN
ROYAL MEDALLION
ROYAL
SAFARI
SCRIBBLE
SHELLS
SULTAN MAMLUK
SUNFLOWER BROWN
TERRACOTTA
ZEIGLER
CHILDREN'S
PATCHWORK
SILK TOUCH
KAZAKH SKY
KAZAKH
GABBEH
BRICKS
HOPE
LEOPARD
SQUARES
STRIPES
ZEBRA
SHIRWAN
SHIRWAN - BELOUCH
BELJIK
KHAL MOHAMMED
BELOUCH
ELEPHANT FOOT
KILIM

Projects

MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, ABU DHABI
PRESIDENTIAL PALACE, KABUL
PRIVATE VILLA, DUBAI
PRIVATE VILLA, SOUTH AFRICA
AL BATEEN PALACE, ABU DHABI
PRIVATE VILLA, ABU DHABI
PRIVATE MAJLIS, ABU DHABI
PRIVATE VILLA, DOHA
PRIVATE VILLA, AL AIN
EMBASSY OF AFGHANISTAN, ABU DHABI
CIPRIANI RESTURANT, ABU DHABI.
PRIVATE VILLA PROJECT, FRANCE
UAE CONSULATE, TORONTO
EMBASSY OF SWITZERLAND, ABU DHABI

NORMA KAMALI DESIGNS CARPETS FOR A GOOD CAUSE

Published On: 11/Jun/2014

While the name Norma Kamali might not immediately spark recognition, the esteemed designer’s iconic pieces should look familiar. Kamali (below
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FBMI - CARPET EXHIBITION ON ATAYA 2014

Published On: 04/May/2014

FBMI - Carpet exhibition on Ataya 2014From May 4, 2014 till May 7, 2014Her Highness Sheikha Fatema Bint Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan is proud to pres
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FBMI AT DESIGN DAYS DUBAI 2014

Published On: 22/Feb/14

Afghan Carpets on display at the fair - Fatema Bint Mohammed Bin Zayed initiative empowers Afghan women.Her Highness Fatema Bint Mohammed Bin Zayed is proud to pres
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CARPET AND ART OASIS: WEAVING THEIR OWN FUTURE

Published On: 21/Jan/14

While Persian carpets enjoy a walkover in the industry, now new dark horses are coming up IT’S THE end of Saturday evening and exhausted festival-goers a
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FBMI AT ABU DHABI ART COMMUNITY (ABU DHABI ART 2013)

Published On: 23/Nov/13

Every year, Abu Dhabi Art invites non-profit regional organisations, known for their contributions and efforts in supporting the local culture scene throu
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EYES WIDE OPEN

Published On: 27/Nov/13

Pia Torelli, photographer originally from Italy, exhibits an impressive selection of photos of Kabul portraits taken in 2002 and 2013 at the Alliance Franç
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ABU DHABI ENTREPRENEURSHIP FORUM 2013

Published On: 08/Oct/13

FBMI participated at Abu Dhabi Entrepreneurship Forum 2013. The Abu Dhabi Entrepreneurship Forum (ADEF) 2013 was a great success and was attended by over 800 part
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FBMI PARTICIPATION AT EMIRATES FOUNDATION PHILANTHROPY SUMMIT 2013

Published On: 11/Nov/13

FBMI participated at Emirates Foundation Philanthropy Summit 2013 on 12/13 November-2013.http://efps.emiratesfoundation.ae/en/about.aspx 
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MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING (MOU) BETWEEN AFGHANISTAN MINISTRY OF LABOUR & SOCIAL AFFAIRS AND FBMI REGARDING KINDERGARTEN AT FBMI CENTER

Published On: 29/Aug/13

In accordance with ongoing efforts to provide social services to its employees, FBMI signed an MOU with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs on August 28th 201
More

AWARDS: PRESIDENTIAL PALACE: CARPETS ADMIRED BY ROYALS AND DIGNITARIES WORLDWIDE

Published On: 12/Jul/2012

FBMI is known to have many admirers of their carpets. End-users of these intricate hand-made Afghan carpets include French ex-President Nicholas Sarkozy, and Germa
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FBMI PARTICIPATE AT THE AFGHANISTAN NATIONAL CARPET CONFERENCE 2012

Published On: 11/Jul/2012

FBMI proudly participated at the Afghanistan National Carpet Conference 2012, held in Kabul. The annual event was held by the Ministry of Commerce and Industr
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AWARD: FBMI WIN COMMERCIAL INTERIOR DESIGN AWARD 2011

Published On: 25/Oct/2011

FBMI has been awarded the Commercial Interior Design Award for the Sustainable Interior Design Initiative of the year 2011.More

AWARD: FBMI AWARDED THE DOMOTEX SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD 2011

Published On: 12/Sep/2011

FBMI have been honoured with the Domotex Middle East Special Recognition Award at the Domotex Middle East Exhibition in Dubai on Monday 12th September 2011.The awa
More

H.E. REEM AL HASHIMY, UAE MINISTER OF STATE AND H.E. DR. SAEED MOHAMMED AL SHAMSI, UAE DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER VISIT THE FBMI CENTRE IN KABUL

Published On: 22/Jun/2011

FBMI proudly welcomed a high-level delegation from the United Arab Emirates to the FBMI Centre in Kabul on Wednesday 22nd June 2011.  
More

FBMI IS AWARDED THE DUBAI GOLDEN EAGLE AT THE DUBAI CARPET & ART OASIS 2011

Published On: 16/Feb/2011

FBMI has been honoured with the Dubai Customs Golden Eagle Award in recognition of their services to the hand-knotted carpet industry.Mr. Ebrahim Saleh, Festivals
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FBMI BEGIN EMPLOYMENT AT KABUL WOMEN'S PRISON - THE FIRST SUCH INITIATIVE IN AFGHANISTAN'S HISTORY

Published On: 01/Feb/2011

FBMI have become the first private-sector company in Afghanistan's history to employ females being held at the Kabul Women's Prison. The initiative will employ 60
More

AFGHAN AMBASSADOR TO UAE, H.E. DR. NAJIBULLAH MOJADIDI AND H.E. YOUSEF SAIF SUBAA AL ALI, UAE AMBASSADOR TO AFGHANISTAN, INAUGURATE THE FBMI STAND AT THE DUBAI CARPET & ART OASIS 2011

Published On: 30/Jan/2011

The FBMI stand at the Dubai Carpet & Art Oasis 2011 was officially innaugurated on Monday 31st January 2011 by His Excellency Dr. Najibullah Mojadidi, Afg
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FBMI SPONSORS THE 3rd AFGHAN INTERNATIONAL CARPET FAIR

Published On: 27/Nov/2010

FBMI proudly sponsored the 3rd Afghan Carpet Fair held between the 27th and 30th November 2010 in Kabul.The annual event was held in association with the Germa
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UAE MINISTER OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS, H.E. DR. ANWAR GARGASH PRAISES THE FBMI INITIATIVE AT THE AFGHANISTAN INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT CONFERENCE IN DUBAI

Published On: 04/Nov/2010

The governments of the United Arab Emirates and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan co-hosted the first Afghanistan International Investment Conference (AIIC) in Du
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FBMI ANNOUNCE MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR CARPET CENTRES ACROSS AFGHANISTAN

Published On: 06/Oct/2010

In July 2010, Tanweer Investments proudly announced investment in constructing hand-made carpet centres across Afghanistan, that will implement the entire hand-made
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Sheikha's initiative gives widows hope

2010


Afghan private company providing work facility for jailed women

2011


Dubai hosts first Afghanistan International Investment Conference under cochairmanship of governments of Afghanistan and UAE

2010


Weaving Through Life

2011


Weaving Hopes

2011


Weaving hope into the fabric of society

2011


CID Awards November 2011 - Sustainable Design Initiative of the Year

2011


LUIGI’S INTERNATIONAL PICKS

2013


FBMI ON DESIGN DAYS DUBAI 2014

2014

Afghan Carpets on display at the fair - Fatema Bint Mohammed Bin Zayed initiative empowers Afghan women. Her Highness Fatema Bint Mohammed Bin Zayed is proud t

FAIR DIRECTOR CYRIL ZAMMIT’S TOP 10 THINGS NOT TO MISS AT DESIGN DAYS DUBAI

2014

Design Days Dubai is set to offer an inspiring week of incredible collectible design, art furniture, workshops, lectures, live performances, screenings and installa

AFGHAN CARPETS TO DEBUT AT DESIGN DAYS DUBAI

11/Mar/14

Abu Dhabi-based initiative employs 4,000, uses wool and natural dyes.A collection of fine Afghan carpets will be exhibited for the first time in the three-year hist

PULLING THE RUG FROM UNDER POVERTY

20/Mar/14


ETHICAL MAGIC CARPETS

April 2014


FBMI - Carpet exhibition on Ataya 2014

4th May 2014

Her Highness Sheikha Fatema Bint Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan is proud to present her humanitarian initiative, FBMI, at Ataya 2014. The FBMI will display its colle

MAGIC CARPET

20 May 2014


Weaving for a brighter future

27-May-2014


The designer Norma Kamali talks about her ethical-carpet project as it hits the UAE

29th May 2014

Staring out from behind her trademark fringe and thick-rimmed glasses, speaking forcefully about female empowerment, and wearing one of her own de

In pictures: Norma Kamali’s carpet collaboration with Fatema Bint Mohammed Bin Zayed Initiative

29th May 2014

Take a look at a selection of the 12 carpets designed by Norma Kamali for the Fatema Bint Mohammed Bin Zayed Initiative showcased in Manarat Al Saadiyat.  READ MORE

How creativity change lives

31st May 2014


A break from the Norm

30 May 2014


A carpet store in Dubai is helping women in Afghanistan forge a new life

6 May 2014

Benita Adesuyan discovers how a carpet store in Dubai is helping women in Afghanistan forge a new lifeFrom the outside, the FBMI shop on Jumeirah Beach Road blends

Expressions of Empowerment

4th May 2014


NORMA KAMALI DESIGNS CARPETS FOR A GOOD CAUSE

11 June 2014

While the name Norma Kamali might not immediately spark recognition, the esteemed designer’s iconic pieces should look familiar. Kamali (below)

EMPOWERMENT CARPETS INAUGURATION, ABU DHABI

31 May 2014


Awards

Best Exhibitor Award, Dubai Carpet & Art Oasis 2014

Top exporter award

2012

Dubai carpet & art oasis golden award

2012

Appreciation Award

2011

Domotex middle east special regocnition award

2011

Commercial interior design award

2011

Best sustainable design initiative

Dubai carpet & art oasis golden award

2011

Testimonials

I have a passion for carpets and ethnic wall hangings, so I enjoy making visits to the shop just to see what is new. The collection is varied, colourful and unusual. I love the Kilims in particular and have bought several. I am looking forward to seeing the new jewellery collection that is coming soon. What a treat!

Ida Dolci

Instructor, Zayed University

 

The FBMI initiative which supports women weavers, offers beautiful, handmade carpets in both modern and traditional designs. My favorites are Kazaks; the depth of the colours and the range of designs constantly impress me. You won’t regret going to the shop for that perfect carpet for your home.

Koos A Debeer

Instructor, Zayed University, Dubai

 

Thank you again for the fantastic work on my two Kilims. I really appreciate the time and effort that went into doing this for me.

Marcus Naubur

Artist, Dubai

 

On behalf of the Board of Directors, Staff and STAR volunteers of the General Tommy Franks Leadership Institute and Museum, I sincerely thank you for your donation to our recent Silent Auction held during this year's Memorial Day Celebration. Your support plays an important role in the success of our project.

Warren Martin

General Tommy Franks Leadership Museum & Institute, USA

 

My experience with the project has been quite remarkable , given the projects noble objectives , the quality of the craftsmanship and the customer service , It’s two thumbs up

Issam Al Tawari

Business Owner, Kuwait

 

Your carpets are truly beautiful, and they will have a place of prominence in our new home... Afghanistan sorely needs good news and good deeds and your company is providing that rare good thing.

Jane Waddick

Photographer, USA

 

The service from your team was excellent.. all the best.

Frederic Vidal

Managing Director, Abu Dhabi

 

LOVE your carpets.. introduced me to the beauty of your collection and the story behind the carpets."

Liesl Hibbert

 

The product offered is unique and the clients I have globally have commented on this. The fact that FBMI provides Afghan women with realistic wages to perform the intricate and beautiful work they perform is another benefit of being associated with this initiative. There is no child labour involved, people are not exploited, and the people who do the work are paid for this at an appropriate rate.
This is a truly wonderful and unique product, and team, and I strongly recommend them to any potential client, consultant or purchaser.

Frances Tomkins

Frances Tomkins Design

 

An excellent opportunity to learn more about the Initiative’s philosophy, the empowerment that is taking place and of course the beautiful carpets. I would like to extend my congratulations to H.H. Fatema, you and the entire FBMI team.

Lyle Glowka

Executive Coordinator
United Nations Environment Programme

 

All my best and great work!

E. Nina Rothe

Dubai, UAE

 

The carpets are just wonderful

Lotte Hahn

 

I received the carpet today and it's even better than I expected! Thank you so much for excellent service!

Elen Midtveit

AFGHANISTAN

FBMI Centre
Afshar, Kabul
Tel: +93 (0) 7855 55555
E-mail: afp@fbmi.ae

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

FBMI Showroom
865a Jumeirah Beach Road
Opposite Burj Al Arab
PO Box 27677, Dubai, UAE
Tel: +971 (0) 4 388 1103
Tel 2: +971 (0) 50 200 1149
Fax: +971 (0) 4 388 1136
E-mail: maywand@fbmi.ae

UNITED KINGDOM

FBMI Showroom
Unit 14 Park Royal Oriental Carpet Centre
1 Chandos Road, London, NW10 6NF
Tel: +44 (0) 208 961 5552
Tel 2: +44 (0) 791 817 7777
E-mail: maywand@fbmi.ae

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