DUBAI: One of Lebanon’s esteemed fine jewelry houses, L’Atelier Nawbar, is among the latest creative forces to launch a relief initiative to help rebuild Beirut. Nearly two weeks after the devastating blasts erupted in the capital’s port and destroyed half of the city, the brand introduced newly designed, handmade necklaces and bracelets bearing the green cedar and red bands of the Lebanese flag. All profits of these charms will be donated to a local charity.
What particularly stands out about the charms’ design is the fact that small shards of shattered glass, which have been gathered from the city, are symbolically implemented in each and every piece. “As fragments of glass fell around us following the tragic events of Beirut, we decided to make art from these scraps,” said the said the company’s founders, Dima and Tania Nawbar to Arab News. “It is not only a tribute to our country but also a symbol of our hope and will to rebuild and find the strength to persevere and continue doing what we love.”
Explaining the charms’ production process, the sisters added: “The pieces of glass are upcycled with colored Murano, set in an 18K gold mosaic of love creating perfectly imperfect little flags.” L’Atelier Nawbar debuted the charms to its 57,000 followers on Instagram, garnering positive and supportive reactions from the public.
It was in 2011 that sisters and fourth-generation designers, who hail from a long line of jewelers, established L’Atelier Nawbar. The Nawbar lineage of jewelry craftsmanship dates back to 1891, when the sisters’ great-great grandfather opened his boutique in Beirut’s gold souk. In this day and age, however, Dima and Tania are recognized as the family’s first women jewelers. In recent years, the duo’s vibrant pieces have been worn by the likes of Queen Rania of Jordan and Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o.
The company’s flagship store is located in Downtown Beirut and has unfortunately, like many other businesses, been affected by the August 4 explosions. “We were shocked and devastated at first,” shared Dima and Tania. “The shop and office were totally damaged. Luckily, the workshop was left intact, so we managed to dispatch prior orders and now are back to taking new orders. It took us a minute to grasp it all and we thought it would take us a while to get back on our feet and proceed with what we do.”