The ‘Egyptian Crafts through the Ages’ is a temporary heritage exhibition that was recently organized by the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC), a project directed by the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt with the technical support of #Unite4Heritage, a global movement powered by UNESCO that aims to celebrate and safeguard cultural heritage and diversity around the world.

NMEC is situated on the archaeological site of El Fustat, in Old Cairo, overlooking the Ain El-Seera Lake. What is remarkable about this museum is the fact that this is the first veritable museum of civilization in Egypt.

During the announcement of the launch of the temporary exhibition, Mahmoud Mabrouk, the exhibition’s designer, said that the museum showcase a collection of 400 artefacts selected from Cairo’s Egyptian Museum, Coptic Museum, Museum of Islamic Civilization and Al-Manial Palace Museum, as well as Alexandria’s Jewellery Museum and NMEC storage.

The exhibition was divided into four sections namely 1) Pottery making technique and decoration at the beginning of archaic periods to Coptic and Islamic eras 2) textile manufacturing through an ancient Egyptian process of weaving flax and tincturing with the help of natural colors 3)  Apprenticeship of Egyptian carpenters  4) Craftsmanship in the manufacturing of Arabesque.

Exhibition Flyer ©NMEC – Unite4Heritage – UNESCO

Woodworking

 

Egyptian war chariot © Mohamed Badry, 20 February 2017
Egyptian war chariot © Mohamed Badry, 20 February 2017

Pottery Manufacturing

Arabian Dishes – Mamluk Period © Mohamed Badry, 20 February 2017

Textile Manufacturing

Kapati textile © Mohamed Badry, 20 February 2017
Kapati textile © Mohamed Badry, 20 February 2017

Jewelry Manufacturing

Egyptian oasis jewelery © Mohamed Badry, 20 February 2017
Egyptian oasis jewelry © Mohamed Badry, 20 February 2017

Traditional crafts and craftsmanship is one of the manifestations of intangible cultural heritage. The NMEC temporary exhibition acts like a bridge between the past and present –transmitting heritage knowledge and skills from the previous generations to the new generations. As a result, it enhances the perspective of edutainment raising awareness of Egyptian heritage for visitors guaranteeing the sustainability for these crafts that are deeply rooted in the Egyptian culture.

The exhibition is classified under the category of heritage exhibitions– an informal means of transmitting knowledge that was admitted in UNESCO Convention for  Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003) and ensuring recognition of the crafts and craftsmanship as an intangible cultural heritage in the local community.

Heritage exhibition is a new technique of displaying and interpreting a specific material cultural including customs, habits, daily life routine, crafts and craftsmanship, and so on. This method is considered a professional technique embodying an intangible heritage and its cultural, historical, and artificial values for the visitors of a museum or a heritage site. In the same manner, it also safeguards and preserves transmitting of rich heritage knowledge to the forthcoming generations. Consequently, it will also operationalize a kind of documentation, continuity or sustainability.

You can virtually visit exhibition and learn about the museums in Egypt here.

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  • Mohamed Badry
    Mohamed Badry

    HeritageForAll Initiative Founder

    Mohamed Badry is from Cairo, Egypt. He is a founder of "HeritageForAll" initiative that was founded in April 2017 focusing the field of the heritage and/or museum management and conservation throughout a group of capacity building activities. He has an extensive background in the field of heritage management and marketing. Holding M.A. in Heritage Conservation and Site Management from Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg (Germany) and Helwan University (HU) (Egypt) (2015); a Guidance Diploma, Faculty of Tourism and Hotel Management (FTH, HU) (2011); and a Bachelor in History, Faculty of Arts – Cairo University (2009), he held numerous internships with UNESCO Cairo office, and UNESCO New Delhi-supported initiative GoUNESCO. His M.A. dissertation was specified in the field of heritage marketing under the title of "Developing Innovative Marketing Plan to Augment the Visitation of Egyptian World Heritage Sites: A Case Study on Saladin Citadel". He was a research and teaching assistant in the field of heritage management focusing the theme of “Authenticity and Socio-economic Integrity of a Living Heritage” at German University of Technology in Oman [affiliated to RWTH Aachen Uni.]. Since 2012, he worked a freelance English-speaking tour guide in Cairo. Then in 2016, he worked for a while as a heritage development officer at Children's Civilization and Creativity Centre (Child Museum). Also, he got an individual ICOM membership. Then, he worked as a monitoring and evaluation officer at OEcumene Studio with UNHCR CSR Unite-funded projects. Also, he participated the former company, as a researcher, in the heritage project “Siwa Architecture Community Centre: towards an Inclusive and Heritage-conscious Urban Transition (SIWI Project)” raising awareness of the local community about Siwan architecture and the cultural significance of traditional architectural heritage. Then, as a founder of HeritageForAll initiative, he launched a workshop "Urban Architectural Heritage and Social Interaction" understanding the heritage context in Rashid as Egyptian tentative world heritage city; estimating socio-economically how the local community deals with their surrounding cultural heritage; what their requirements are; and how far they welcome the heritage tourism in their historic city. Furthermore, he participated a consultation team of Shaboury Company - Heritage Development in preparing a proposal of Giza Plateau Master Plan (2019 – 2022) as a part of UNESCO Egyptian World Heritage Site "Memphis & its Necropolis".

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