The Crafts and Rituals of Scent in Arabia


4 November 2020

Laila Al-Hamad opens a discussion about the role of scent in our cultures. She describes the objects and rituals that are used to made smell part of Arab life.

Smell has a powerful effect on our memories, feelings and connections with each other. Because of the visual orientation of modern culture, we have overlooked the importance of our olfactory sense. For the Arab culture in particular, it plays a key role in the rituals of everyday life. Laila Al-Hamad will tell a story about the role of scent in Arab culture, opening a discussion about the craft of smell in other cultures of the world.

For background, see Laila Al-Hamad ✿ The craft of smell

A native of Kuwait, Laila Al-Hamad is a cultural entrepreneur and the founder of Zeri Crafts, a concept business inspired by Gulf heritage. The company creates pieces that reflect Gulf tradition with a contemporary look and feel. Prior to founding the company in 2010, she worked in social and economic development at the World Bank and in several non-governmental organizations. Her interests lie in sustainable development, and in promoting cultural heritage as a means of attaining a more meaningful development path. She holds a Master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

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