Roouh - Sharing refugee stories through art

by Basma El Doukhi in Canterbury, Kent, United Kingdom

Roouh - Sharing refugee stories through art
We did it
On 28th July 2023 we successfully raised £4,350 with 69 supporters in 36 days

Create an online shop selling refugee artisan products from Lebanon and Palestine, to support vulnerable people and raise cultural awareness

by Basma El Doukhi in Canterbury, Kent, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

Who we are


ROOUH is a social enterprise to give refugees’ stories a voice through art

My name is Basma and I am a third-generation of stateless Palestinian refugees who have been living in the Palestinian camps in Lebanon for over 70 years.  


I have more than 15 years of experience working with UN agencies and international NGOs across the Middle East and the UK, working with and for displaced communities and individuals.  I’m currently pursuing my PhD in Migration Refugee Studies at the University of Kent.

What we're trying to do

Roouh will bring hand made cultural products (bags, pillows) made by displaced communities from Palestine and Lebanon.


We will create an online shop, selling these products allowing for the development of an income for these artisan refugees in vulnerable situations.

My enterprise is aiming to serve as a bridge between displaced communities and the communities in the UK through the universal language of art.  


Through art we can connect with each other regardless of nationality, ethnicity, borders, religion and other aspects of identity. This can foster a greater understanding in the UK of displacement and migration abroad.

Why this is important

I am aiming to shift the narrative of displaced communities abroad based on the stigmatisation I’ve experienced here in the UK.

Acute financial and social situation in Lebanon where people can’t meet basic needs such as education for their children, healthcare and more.  Many of individuals produce arts & crafts today already, but aren’t able to financially sustain themselves through these activities

My beneficiaries are Palestinians and Syrians living in camps in Lebanon, as well as the Lebanese host community.  I lived amongst these people and understand the skills and capabilities they have which they are keen to share through art.

How it's going to happen

  • Providing financial sustainability for displaced communities
  • Creating an international market to provide access to their products amongst foreign buyers.


Basma: "What makes my enterprise unique is the individual stories of the artists and artisans and the way we share them"

"I am here in the UK and can feel the beautiful spirit and culture of beautiful people like you Basma from MENA, thanks for providing this opportunity" 

(40 years old British man in Canterbury)

"ROOUH in English means Soul. For me as a Palestinian refugee woman ROOUH’s work to support my  products is a soul that brings a sense of hope and light in  the darkness that I am living daily. You support me to continue thriving when you buy my products" 

(35 years old Palestinian Stateless Refugee in Lebanon) 

"I give my heart, soul, story and identity to things that I create and make. I hope that you are able to see and feel this when you buy my products through ROOUH"

(65 years old  Palestinian Stateless Refugee in Rashideh Camp-Lebanon)

"Syria and Syrians are beautiful. I hope you can see and connect to our story through my art and work. Please listen to what I want to tell you when you see my products and buy them"

(22 years old Syrian Youth residing in Palestinian camp in Lebanon)

The rewards available

Our handmade pillows

(WHITE / BLACK / RED) The pillow below is Cross Stitch Itamine DMC  traditional embroidery. The width is 40 cm and the length is 40 cm.


(RED) This pillow is Cross Stitch Itamine DMC traditional embroidery. The width is 40 cm and the  length is 40 cm.


(BLUE) The pillow below is Cross Stitch Itamine DMC modern embroidery. The width is 40 cm and the  length is 40 cm.1687104847_1687104846507.jpeg

Embroidered handmade Bags

The bags below are Cross Stitch Itamine DMC modern embroidery. The width is 33 cm and the  length is 38 cm. The colors are Beige, white and Black.



This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£90 or more

3 of 3 claimed

Handmade Traditional and modern Pillows

These are pillows designed in refugee camps in Lebanon using cultural artisanal methods. Size: 40x40cm (See examples at the bottom of the page)

£50 or more

5 of 5 claimed

Handmade modern bags

These are handmade bags made by refugee women in the refugee camps of Lebanon using their own stitching methods (see examples at bottom of page).

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