The Zay Initiative was founded by Dr. Reem Tariq El Mutwalli and is a non-profit organization that pays homage to the preservation of the Middle East’s rich Arab heritage through the medium of documentation, and conservation of regional fashions that date back as far as the 1950’s.
Not only does The Zay preserve traditional attire and noteworthy moments in the history of Arabian sartorialism, but also archives and documents the “socio economic changes in the region from the pre-oil era” to present day. The archive already consists of over 700 pieces of traditional Arab clothing from all over the MENA region, and beginning next month, The Zay will launch its first digital archive.
The organization will give users free and unlimited access to the monumental collection for the purpose of historical research, references and academic documents – also making it the regions first ever historical fashion archive. The platform will also be supported by a monthly blog and looks to create a public platform that invites a variety of cultures to connect and engage with The Zay Initiative’s advisory circle.
The digital archive can be accessed following its official launch, through the organization's website, www.thezay.org.