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Sarah’s Bag: Lebanon’s fashionable bags and accessories

I first heard of this through Carla from Out of Lebanon blog, and thought that it would be interesting to introduce it to my entourage, even though I’m late on this and many of you must have already known about it. It is called Sarah’s Bag. It is distinctive, vivacious, and elegant with a touch of retro glamour and a street-wise sensibility. It is stylishly aware and socially responsible.

Sarah’s Bag is a Lebanese line of handcrafted, custom-made women’s fashion accessories. It started out in the year 2000 as a collection of handbags, but soon after it has expanded to include beach totes, evening bags, clutches, and satchels, along with shoes, scarves, sashes, belts, bangles, and beaded necklaces. What makes them unique is that they are made by female prisoners and former inmates, and each piece requires 10 to 15 days of meticulous embroidering, beading, crocheting, and hand-stitching to produce. Sarah’s Bag is fast becoming a worldwide brand after many celebrities embraced its line of work, among them are French actress Catherine Deneuve and Queen Rania of Jordan.

The story of Sarah’s Bag began when Sarah Beydoun, a Beirut-based Lebanese sociology student at the time, was writing her master’s thesis on female prostitution and women prisoners in Lebanon at the Université Saint Joseph (USJ). She realized she could combine her interest in improving underprivileged women’s lives with her love for fashion. Sarah decided to set up her company as part of a rehabilitation program, whereby women at risk from economic depravation or the stigma of having served time in prison would learn valuable skills in return for a reliable income and a stable source of pride, dignity, and empowerment. As the company expanded, Sarah teamed up with her friend Sarah Nahhouli.

Sarah’s Bag showroom is located in the neighborhood of Gemmayzeh, a five-minute walk from Downtown Beirut. Other selling points could be found worldwide such as in the Gulf, Africa, and USA. Even though there isn’t any selling point yet in Montreal, I believe this will happen soon due to the company’s fast worldwide takeoff.

For more information on Sarah’s Bag, its showroom and selling points addresses, collection, and press releases, you can visit its website at
For pictures of its line of bags, you can visit its Official Facebook Page.

Sarah's Bag Lebanon showroom

Sarah's Bag Lebanon showroom -

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Comment from H
Time April 30, 2009 at 1:58 PM

well, I was impressed until I read that people in jail make them, but I guess it’s a fast judgement, if the bags are nice, why not, but don’t you think this adds negative energy to the bag, enno if a murderer did your bag, how would you feel about carrying it ?

Comment from H
Time April 30, 2009 at 2:48 PM

I am imagining that with every touch she does on the bag,
it is accompanied with a flash back of her murder, as she thinks
doing the bag is a way to repent, she remembers with every touch,
the mistake she did, and thinks that doing the bag helps pay
the price of her mistake, the bag is filled with these thoughts,
and I wonder if it gets to the person carrying it.

does that scare you?

Comment from F
Time April 30, 2009 at 5:43 PM

I think that art is art.. whether ur doing it with love or hate, feeling good or bad, guilty or not… its the outcome that is the result, and everyone ekhreta will see things their own way, its never one way.. thats what makes it so “art-y”.
nice job, i like a few only.. but the pt is that they’re different, unique, and most of all hand made!
way to go sarah!

Comment from Sara
Time May 2, 2009 at 9:58 AM

LOL… wow , this is interesting …
Its the first time i hear of these bags and accessories! since my name is sara too, i might as well go get some bags from their shops lol :P
A random person would ask :
- wow sara whered you get your bag from …
-Me: i got it from Sarahs bags HAHA :P

Comment from Bannout
Time May 5, 2009 at 10:16 PM

To H:

I can see your point but you should simply see how beautiful their art is and that would definitely means positive energy, no negative one at all ;)

Comment from Celine
Time May 7, 2009 at 3:25 PM

H: never judge a person without really knowing them. No one knows why and how these women entered prison … I personally think it’s a really good idea for them to work on these bags and if it helps them escape their reality, then why not …

Comment from Liliane
Time May 13, 2009 at 1:47 AM

well H, to be fair, many other people design other clothing material or cars or technology and they’re not necessarily good persons, we’ll never know.. so we just have to go with our guts and taste.

Plus, everyone deserves a second chance.

Comment from Liliane
Time May 13, 2009 at 1:56 AM

ah ok they said that most of them are former prisoners, and Sarah’s bag company is actually a chance for many to have a fresh start after getting out of the prison…
very nice. we should have more companies allowing former prisoners to work. i donno the status about that, and what happens to those who go to jail for let’s say minimal crimes. shou bi sir fiyoun?

Comment from H.
Time May 13, 2009 at 11:27 AM

Ok, I took it too far, I was talking about murderers w big crimes w osas, maybe from all the negative news I hear, when I read that, it was the first thing to came to mind, I don’t really fully agree to it myself, it was a quick flash that I put in words without thinking too much about it.
I agree everyone deserves a second chance because we don’t know what pushed them to do something wrong, even a third and a fourth chance. I was also taking the concept of the supporting the entire system, which as Liliane was saying, would mean not to buy anything from companies that take advantage of cheap labor for example.
So the final conclusion, keep it simple, you like the bag buy it, you don’t like it, keep shopping :p and I support Sarah for offering this chance to the women!

Comment from Anonymous
Time September 24, 2009 at 8:02 PM

don’t forget that there is lots of innocent people in jails

Comment from kaka
Time April 25, 2010 at 4:47 AM

never judge a person without really

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