Egyptian artisans churn out traditional crafts

AP News
Posted: Sep 27, 2011 2:53 PM
Egyptian artisans churn out traditional crafts

With little more to work with than a few basic tools, artisans craft some of Egypt's most renowned and unique homeware.

Muhammed Reda, 28, went to a technical college, but could not find work in his field of study. Egypt, which is facing a burgeoning young population, has been struggling to create jobs. Instead, Reda joined the family business to work as a potter, stomping his feet in clay for hours to soften it for use.

Glassmaker Hassan Hudhud, 60, works under extreme heat, creating and blowing intricate pieces. His workshop, located near an old cemetery in Cairo, is alive with colored-glass vases, cups and lamps.

Having 40 years experience under his belt, Hudhud said he is one of just a few craftsmen working in handmade products in Egypt. He blamed inexpensive imports from China and an increase in the cost of raw material in Egypt for the slow and steady demise in the number of people working on handmade products in the country.

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Despite the meager profits and grueling hours, a handful of Egyptian artisans with a wealth of talent continue churning out tradition.