25 November, 2013

Life on along the road

To many cars,
and slow moving traffic.

Hanging out the window of the car,
I manage to capture
a little of this very colorful life.

Farmers sell their fruit

and vegetables at the road side,
 their local market or at the souq.

Cauliflower on its way to the market,
nicely stacked on the back of a truck.

Others prefer a cart pulled by a donkey.

I am always amazed how simple it looks
to carry your groceries on top of the head.

 "Sheep farming"
along the road side is not uncommon.

The sheep live only meters from traffic,
and are sold for their hide, wool and meat.

 They seam to be used to the used to the commotion,
keeping calm away from the cars.

This fiddler is selling his homemade
music instruments.

He walks up and down the streets
playing his fiddle to get attention,
hoping for a sale.

They have a high pitch tone
so he can be heard from a long distance.

Have a good evening!

21 November, 2013

Visiting Khan El-Khalili

Not far from home,
about half an hour drive,
we can walk the narrow streets 
of Khan El-Khalili.

 It is still the morning hours,
the water is from scrubbing the streets.

It is a very old part of Cairo,
it dates back to year 1382,
a colorful bazaar district,

with hundreds of little stores.

The owners
very willing to show us
their merchandise.

Many are still doing 
various traditional craft. 

There is a lot that catch ones eyes,
or for the above picture,
also the nose...
Dried spices in colorful bags.

These days there are not a lot of visitors,
so the shop owners
are working hard for the money.

We come here, again and again.
This area has a very special feel,
and we tend to discover something new every time.

Thanks for tagging along!

17 November, 2013

The Ramses Wissa Wassef Art Centre

The Art Center is located in Harraina,
about 10 miles from down town Cairo
and well worth visiting.

It is built and developed about 50 years ago
by architect Ramses Wissa Wassef ,
with workshops, museum and living quarters,
surrounded by beautiful gardens.

The museum part had tapestries and sculptures
made during these years.

Wissa Wassef
 had a special vision and philosophy
for how children could develop their artistic sense,
by following three rules.
"No preliminary sketches or cartoons,
no external aesthetic influences,
and no critical interference from adults",
could ensure that
"every child's inspiration
sprang entirely from within,
and fueled by contact
with her or his own environment
rather than through an adult's sensibilities..."

Close-up from the full picture above

Children from the nearby village
was "invited to come
and learn the technique of tapestry
and provide them with what they needed
to translate their imagination and feelings
into woven images."

 Wool on cotton warp

Here is no pattern.
Except for a general idea, they create as they weave.

We got to see weavers at work.
They come when they have time,
between joggling family and cooking.

Some bring their children or toddlers
This one was asleep on his mothers lap, as we walked in

Cotton thread on cotton warp
Very fine and intricate

As they enter the gates of the Art Center,
they leave all stress of daily life behind,
and let their creativity flow free.

 We where told that
the men spend more time weaving,
than the women,
since they have less responsibilities at home. 

In the surrounding gardens,
they grow plant used for coloring the yarn.
The coloring process takes part every fall and spring
(I would love to visit at that time).

Sophie Wissa Wassef,
wife of Ramses, and a watercolour artist,
 introduced batik painting.

Coloring and drying, happens outside.

"Unlike the weaver, 
the batik artist must know exactly where he is going 
before he starts.."

The results are fabulous and rich in color.

Thanks for visiting,
and have a great day!


(info in parentheses is taken from the book 
sold at the Art center)