Muna Ahmed Fareed, a senior member of the Muscat Quilt Guild, who loves spending her time all through the year in a creative way, says the recent lockdown in Muscat gave her more time to devote to her passion – quilting. She also availed of an opportunity to sharpen up her sewing skills, via Zoom, besides taking up walking for fitness.
Muna, who believes that every individual has a social responsibility which they must fulfil in their own way, has been instrumental in motivating a lot of women of varied nationalities in Muscat to come together to channelise their creative instincts through the art of quilting. And over the years, she, too, has learnt many new techniques from her compatriots in the women’s guild.
In charge of their annual charity quilt project, Muna discloses that the members meet once month to share ideas and new techniques to help each other enhance their own skills. However, during the lockdown, each one was on her own, though they did share designs and views via social media. The annual quilt project is compiled by different members and auctioned for charity every year.
“I have many hobbies which I could do during the lockdown. It allowed me more time to practice all of them, but I did get more time for quilting which is my favourite passtime,” says Muna, adding, “I started working on my unfinished projects and was glad to see the finished work of some quilts which I prepared during the lockdown.
Though she prefers to stay indoors, busy with her own art, Muna, who loves to work with bright colours and traditional designs, says she started to walk on a daily basis to keep fit. This was something she enjoyed and hopes to continue beyond the lockdown as she did notice the benefits on her health.
“I also participated in an online sewing course on Zoom for two weeks. Also, since I was unable to meet my children, family members and friends, we availed of many opportunities to chat online through different, available apps to stay connected,” she said adding, “the rest of my time was spent attending to daily requirements at home.
With regard to precautions taken by herself and her family, she said, “We were fully in agreement with the government’s directives for the lockdown to contain the spread of the virus in order to save lives. We as a family discussed this issue and agreed we will follow all directives and not venture out and hence avoid undue trouble in terms of health scare and other issues. We did not even visit our relatives nor invite them to our home. Our food supplies etc are taken care of, without putting anyone at risk. Our household helps too co-operated in this regard.”
Muna further said that her children have been trying their cooking skills by experimenting with various recipes and asking for feedback from the family members. “In addition to the cooking part, my daughter and myself starting making lovely and attractive colourful masks at home, and we also sold some. The proceeds were all sent to the Dar al Atta institution,” she said.
Muna firmly believes that the lockdown has taught everyone that nothing is permanent in life and, hence, we should use all the natural resources that God has provided in a humble and non-exploitative way. “The lesson it has provided us is that we should not, and cannot, take everything for granted. Love and respect each other, and also nature,” she said, adding, “After the pandemic subsides, probably, many may go back to their regular life-style of living while many will be very cautious and spend less time in socialising or going out for no reason at all. I think, even family gatherings will be minimised. Many things may change for the better.”