As most of the children in rural areas spend their summer either working to secure their school fees or staying at home because they do not afford joining sports clubs, getting enrolled in a summer activity is more of a dream that rarely come true. Learning handicrafts can be very useful to children in underprivileged areas, and Art Jameel planning aims to turns this into a reality.
The innovative contemporary institution is organising a four-week summer programme free of charge for children in underprivileged areas to learn about Egypt’s traditional arts at the masmerising beauty of Tunis Village in Fayoum governorate.
The programme is taking place with the help of Atelier Cairo Art Jameel, which is a platform launched by Art Jameel to support Egyptian entrepreneurship, artisanship, and design, and include the institution’s almuni who organise and run the planned programmes.
At the homeland of the world’s finest, most expensive, unique, and alluring artisans, the programme aims to teach children the basics of Islamic geometry, brass work, printing, pottery, and ceramics.
For four weeks, the programme will engage children in the local community with workshops focusing on the unique heritage of Fayoum, the press release reads.
The selection of Fayoum comes as it is “synonymous with one of the best-known traditions of Egyptian pottery and is a centre of the contemporary ceramics revival in Egypt. Tunis lies on the banks of Lake Moeris in the Fayoum oasis in Middle Egypt, where works of pottery, with motifs reflected in contemporary designs, have been found dating to the pharaonic period, when the modern city of Fayoum was called Crocodilopolis and later Arsinoë.”
The summer handicraft school is the Atelier’s first majot programme, that sees the light in partnership with Expertise Consulting House (ECH), an Egyptian organisation that provides vocational and entrepreneurship training to underserved communities on behalf of intergovernmental bodies, including the European Union, the International Organisation for Migration, the International Labour Organisation and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. ECH is delivering a major programme in Fayoum under the European Union’s Joint Rural Development Programme.
It’s an organisation that seeks focusing on local community families, and improving “underserved communities and to support the preservation of Egyptian heritage.”
According to the press release, the previous two summer programmes took place in last two tears, the first at the historic districts of medieval Cairo: in Al-Khalifa in 2017, in collaboration with the Megawra; and in Al-Darb Al-Ahmar in 2018, in collaboration with Turath Conservation Group, an initiative centred around the historic Bayt Yakan and co-founded by Ola Said, a Jameel House alumna and tutor.
The programme runs until 31 August.