Ara Pacis President Maria Nicoletta Gaida’s visit to Niamey, Niger, where she was the guest, along with internationally renowned jewelry designer Alexandra Mor, of First Lady Khadijia Bazoum, president of Ara Pacis’ partner foundation, NOOR, has just concluded. The visit was an occasion for the launch of JEWELS OF THE SAHEL, a unique project to benefit the development of Niger’s Tuareg artisans in the Sahelo-Saharan region.

The project will be inaugurated with a capsule collection of high jewelry by Alexandra Mor. The collection, produced entirely extraordinarily outside of her New York workshop, will be presented in conjunction with the launch of a book documenting this journey and a new era for Niger’s creative community. The collection, to be launched in New York in spring 2023, draws inspiration from centuries of heritage, knowledge, and unique craft skills of the Tuaregs of the Sahara and Sahel regions.

The project is designed to support and enable the Tuareg artisan community to reclaim their craft and work, and to preserve their lost culture and skills by developing up-to-date professional production and manufacturing capacity, entrepreneurial skills, equipment, and facilities currently unavailable.

The collection will serve as a springboard for a broader initiative that will be implemented by Ara Pacis in collaboration with the NOOR Foundation and will focus on the creation of a Sahara Peace Hub, a center for artistic crafts, music and entrepreneurship in Niamey, the capital of the Sahel region. The initiative stems from the belief that in a context of economic hardship, fear and insecurity, beauty, culture and a new vision can be unprecedented vehicles for hope, development, progress and peace.

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