Marwa Jewellery-making apprentice: Artisan of al-Darb al-Ahmar, Cairo

Marwa has loved jewellery since she was a girl. Having enrolled in a jewellery training programme created to support marginalised women from al-Darb al-Ahmar, Marwa is learning to produce modern designs as well as more traditional motifs. After the training, which lasts two and a half months, she hopes to produce her own independent designs. She is learning jewellery design so she can work independently, from home.

“I want to learn how to make jewellery so that I can work at home with this craft. It means I can earn an income and also have some independence.”

Some of the women from Marwa's group and their creations.

Through its partnership with Mezala Foundation, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture has worked with hundreds of women like Marwa to teach them how to design and make jewellery to sell in local markets. Mezala provides training for craftsmen and women, and sells their work not only in specific craft shops in Cairo but also at trade fairs, such as those in Florence, Dubai and Shanghai.

Some of this groups' recent creations.

This initiative is helping women in al-Darb al-Ahmar - one of Cairo's poorest districts - to earn a living, contribute to household expenses and gain some independence.

Marwa with her class; this initiative has supported hundreds of women to learn how to make jewellery and sell their work.

‘The Artisans of al-Darb al-Ahmar: Life and Work in Historic Cairo’ exhibition is taking place at the Royal Geographical Society, Exhibition Road, London, from 22 March to 24 April 2018.

This exhibition showcases the people and personalities that make up daily life in this unique district, home to over 1,000 artisan workshops and 60 monuments of Islamic architecture. It presents artisans at work, some of whom are part of a tradition going back a thousand years but whose skills may not last another generation. More information available here.

For more information, please contact: christopher.w-steer@akdn.org

Created By
Christopher Wilton-Steer


Christopher Wilton-Steer

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