5 Arab Inspired Businesses
By: Souria Dabbousi / Arab America Contributing Writer
Bringing awareness to the world about Arab culture is one of the missions of all Arab businesses. These brands are in part created to explore, celebrate, and share the Arab culture in a modern and symbolic way. By crafting products inspired by its people and identity ranging from jewelry to home decor, the feeling of nostalgia and pride is what allows these businesses’ goods to come to life.
What is cultural merchandise? This phrase best represents their striking images, which pay homage to the customs that distinguish each country. They use illustrations to produce clothing, totes, posters, and other items that allow you to show off your pride in your heritage.
1. Dar Collective
Founded by Subhi Taha in 2020, the brand’s mission is to give diaspora kids a means of representation for their culture, loudly and proudly, through their cultural merchandise. Boasting the ability to show your pride in several Arab and Middle Eastern countries, the brand has designs that reflect the realities of life as an Arab.
“For diaspora kids, by diaspora kids,” is the brand’s motto, and it reflects in their clothing, accessories, and prints.
Founded by Hussein Musa and Amina Musa in 2016, PaliRoots’ mission is to create specialized items inspired by the people and identity of Palestine in order to raise worldwide awareness of the Palestinian culture and struggle.
Many people, both Palestinians and those who support Palestine, have never been to Palestine. However, the Palestinian identity is still held in high regard and esteem all around the world. Through their Palestinian-inspired designs, PaliRoots is able to support various charity organizations and their site even boasts their donations of meals to Palestinians in need with every order.
Fun Fact: Bella Hadid was spotted in one of their Kufiya bandanas during the summer of 2021 protests against Israel in New York City after a bombing in Gaza.
Nominal was founded by Lena Sarsour and Akram Abdullah in 2018. Their brand’s mission is not only to make fashion-forward accessories but to make an impact in this world. “We want there to be a purpose to all of this, beyond the item you’re receiving.” They have accomplished this by running a monthly campaign to donate towards different causes known as their “Deed of the Month” Campaign. “Every month, we donate a portion of each order towards a new cause. From providing bread to people in Syria to building freshwater wells in Mali.”
Founded by Syrian-American Alya Dabas and Yara Akhrass in 2020, the brand’s mission is to share the beauty of various cultures and demonstrate their respect for it through meaningful jewelry. The hidden treasures of beauty and art that Middle Eastern culture has to offer—beauty and art that many people never get to experience—are displayed in AWTANI jewelry.
“The word AWTANI stems from the Arabic language meaning a compelling sense of nationality and love for one’s homeland. When referring to someone’s watan (homeland), it encompasses their country’s beauty, rich culture, and history. It is a sense of pride, love, and devotion for one’s home to be proud of one’s ethnic identity.”
5. One Pulse Collective
One Pulse Collective first started as Middle Eastern Pulse however as time went on, One Pulse Collective founder Manar, strived for more and wanted to create unity. She wanted to “shed a positive light on Arabs by creating a safe space for young adults.” Which was where her brand originated.
One Pulse Collective is about being unapologetic about who you are and where you’re from. It is a fresh new approach to creating items that bring us together while sparking meaningful discussions. “I didn’t just want to make clothes and curate events. I also wanted a way to give back to my community and my home overseas. That’s why every purchase is a guaranteed donation to humanitarian causes in colored communities and the SWANA region.” – One Pulse Collective
Manar’s brand has also been responsible for over $9,514 in donations made to various charities that focus on providing relief in the most affected Arab and Southwestern Asian communities.
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