LIFE / CULTURE
Traditional Egyptian handicrafts shine at Cairo’s largest pottery festival
Published: Jul 06, 2022 07:18 PM
The large gate at Fustat Pottery Village looked like an entrance to a unique world of traditional handicraft, where dozens of highly artistic items were displayed during the largest pottery festival in Egypt's capital Cairo. 

Entitled Clay Jewellers, the three-day festival, which concluded on Tuesday, exhibited a variety of creative ceramic works, such as handmade pots, mugs, teacups, bowls and vases, for both actual home use and decoration. 

"I have been working in pottery for 60 years, since I was a boy. I do both clay shaping and clay mold designs," Youssef Mohamed Taha told the Xinhua News Agency.

"I am happy to see many visitors during the festival," the 75-year-old veteran pottery maker said.

Located south of Cairo, the village has been famous for handmade pottery production for decades.

It was developed into the new Fustat Pottery Village in late 2021 as a tourist attraction as part of the government's development plan for Cairo's old districts and strategy to support handicraft.

"The development of the pottery village is a leap for us as craftsmen. It's great to feel that the village is getting the government's attention and care," Taha told Xinhua.

The renovated village, home to more than 150 pottery workshops, is considered Egypt's center for traditional pottery making.

"I inherited the profession from my father and I further studied pottery and its history," said Mohamed Khalil Mandour, a 29-year-old pottery maker, adding the festival helps promote the village and its products. 

Apart from displaying pottery items, the festival also provided fun experiences for visitors, who can make and color pottery items themselves.

Marilyn Musaad, a young woman who visited the village with her friends, had a great time at the festival.

"I made this ashtray. I liked the experience but it is really so difficult," she said with a laugh.