STORY HIGHLIGHTS


CAIRO IN COLORS OF RAMADAN

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Added On June 12, 2018

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INTRO
 
It's the holy month of Ramadan, which in Egypt means it is time for khayameya.
 
Across the country, the tradition Islamic cloth can be spotted hanging from balconies or decorating lanterns.
 
Let's take a look.
 
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The art of the the handmade fabric stretched back hundreds of years.
 
Khayameya is made by talented artists stitching small pieces of fabric of different colors on a bigger rolls of Egyptian cotton.
   
During Ramadan, ordinary people buy rolls of the stuff to decorate everything they can.
 
Almost everything for Ramadan is covered in the joyful colors of the fabric, from sweet carts and large street tents, down to cups and jug sets.
    
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SOUNDBITE1(Arabic):MOHSEN SHAABAN, Stitcher
"All our handicrafts are based on scissors, pieces of khayameya cloth and the needle, these are our tools. First I draw a painting then I pierce it with the needle. After that I bring a white cloth like this and touch it with coarse dust. The dust goes down through the holes making some dots, with this pencil, I draw on these dots till it becomes a painting like this."
 
However, older locals fear that the hand-made element is being lost from the tradition.
 
Machine-made wall hangings and imported cushions are cheaper and can be found everywhere.
 
SOUNDBITE 2 (Arabic): MOHSEN SHAABAN, stitcher:
"I will be working in this craft till I die, and I wish they could bring us young people to teach them to continue our path, as this craft is on the verge of extinction. Today, there are very few people who want to learn this craft. They prefer to learn some easier crafts, because it needs accuracy and patience."
 
There's only a few more days left for decoriating, Ramadan ends on Thursday.