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Decisions, decisions

Christine Sedky's picture

My first 6 weeks of officially working for Ayadi Organization I did on-the-ground research of various crafts around Egypt.  I was looking to find a craft that has been passed down for hundreds of years and that would benefit from working with Ayadi.  My vision was not to create something new.  I didn’t want something redundant or to recreate the wheel if it had already been created and spinning, but rather to build on others' work and make more impact. 

To name just a few of the beautiful craftsmanship that are part of  Egypt's rich and dying cultural heritage, I saw glass being hand-blown in the City of the Dead in Cairo, pottery in Fayoum (1.5 hours from Cairo), mother-of-pearl boxes being cut and assembled, etc….  Every time I saw a new craftsman at work I wanted to work with him.  But of course to be realistic and to have impact, I decided to start with one craft for a 6-month pilot project, and then expand or reassess. 


I then came across the khayameya worker s (tentmakers).  I was fascinated.  The khayameya work dates way back, the first piece was found in a tomb of the Pharoahs.  They were originally tentmakers, but their work has evolved over the centuries and now they predominantly make pillow covers and large canvases.  I was shocked that no groups, NGOS or otherwise, were working with them (that I could find after extensive research).  There had been talks/proposals to work with them but nothing implemented.  I saw potential and the need. I came across a very kind man and decided to start my work with him and his workshop of tentmakers.  My first order was for a meager 5 pieces…

Comments

Submitted by Clara Vicentini on
Recordada Emiliana, recibe mis felicitaciones por tan excelente art

Submitted by Amrith on
Development is a constant process which envisages continuous and concerted effort.All govts and agencies of civil society must promote investment especially in the area of human capital.Out of all the investments ,this category gives you good returns in the long run.Private investors who have capital can invest in Asia and Africa which is the hotbed of development activity at the grass root level.This idea must be kept in mind at all times.

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