Egypt papyrus makers keep tradition alive despite tourism slump

Egypt papyrus makers keep tradition alive despite tourism slump

In the lush green fields of Egypt’s fertile Delta Valley, farmers and artisans are struggling to make a living as they keep alive the Pharaonic-era tradition of making papyrus. In the 1970s, an art teacher in the village of Al-Qaramus taught farmers the millennia-old techniques for transforming the plant into sought-after paper decorated with ornate drawings and text. The village and its surrounds, located about 80 kilometres (50 miles) northeast of Cairo, now make up the largest hub of papyrus production in the country, experts in the sector say. Once used by ancient Egyptians as writing paper, local artists now decorate the papyrus with hieroglyphics, Arabic calligraphy and representations from antiquity and nature to create souvenirs for eager visitors. But tourism in the North African country has taken a battering since its 2011 revolution, and after a Russian airliner was downed by the Islamic State group in 2015. The
In the lush green fields of Egypt’s fertile Delta Valley, farmers and artisans are struggling to make a living as they keep alive the Pharaonic-era tradition of making papyrus. In the 1970s, an art teacher in the village of Al-Qaramus taught farmers the millennia-old techniques for transforming the plant into sought-after paper decorated with ornate drawings and text. The village and its surrounds, located about 80 kilometres (50 miles) northeast of Cairo, now make up the largest hub of papyrus production in the country, experts in the sector say. Once used by ancient Egyptians as writing paper, local artists now decorate the papyrus with hieroglyphics, Arabic calligraphy and representations from antiquity and nature to create souvenirs for eager visitors. But tourism in the North African country has taken a battering since its 2011 revolution, and after a Russian airliner was downed by the Islamic State group in 2015. The