Global Market in Phoenix to showcase women's handmade crafts, artwork
After the life-altering difficulties they faced in their home countries, refugees who come to America can feel overwhelmed trying to integrate into their new communities.
Becoming economically self-sufficient is crucial for the families, and a group of Arizona State University students has stepped up to help with that.
The Global Market is a monthlong pop-up shop in the heart of downtown PhoenixThe students partnered with RED Cityscape Development, which is providing the space with the assistance of the city of Phoenix. that sells handmade goods, art and other items created by female refugees. The store is a project launched by ASU students in the Master of Social Work program who are interns in the ASU Office of Global Social Work.
The shop, directly across the street from the CityScape retail and dining complex, features items made by female entrepreneurs from Middle Eastern countries, including handmade soap, ceramics, jewelry, textiles, home decor, glass art and paintings.
“It’s a low-cost, low-risk way to get exposure for their merchandise,” said Alyaa Al-Maadeed, one of the ASU graduate students.
Al-Maadeed, who is from Qatar and earned her bachelor’s degree in social work at ASU, said she wanted to tackle a project in which her fluency in Arabic could help refugees.
“We’re trying to get them to the point where they’re engaging with the community and to feel empowered,” she said.
The students did a one-day pop-up shop in December as a pilot project to help the women understand what the event would be like.
Megan McDermott, one of the ASU students, said that the process of coming downtown to the shop and interacting with customers in English is challenging for them.
“As social workers, we have to be very aware that we’re taking them out of their comfort zone,” said McDermott, who helped the women deal with the parking garage.