They work in dimly lit rooms in a small village in Egypt. They sit crouched on hard benches stretching only to get another piece of silk. Their hands move so fast you can hardly follow what they are doing. They are focused and continue working despite numerous distractions around them. They are masters of the trade creating beautifully hand woven silk, wool, and camel hair carpets. And most of them are children.
In Cairo and Alexandria traffic is absurd. But travel out of Cairo and into the Nile Delta region and the primary mode of transportation becomes the bicycle. I spotted this one leaning up against the wall in an alley next to a restaurant. No doubt it is the restaurant's delivery vehicle and all purpose method of transport.
The lovely people of the village Saeed Abu Shara in Menoufya, Egypt. I don't think they get many "tourists" there. I was accompanying a group of teachers from Cairo that wanted to look at and buy carpets. I wanted to take photos of carpets being made. Most locals in Cairo run from the camera when they see it come out. I was expecting a similar reaction in Menoufya. What I got was the opposite - groups of children pushing and shoving each other in order to be in the picture. One boy took me by the hand and led me around to everyone who wanted his photo taken. Mothers with small children asked me to take photos of their babies. One boy brought out his crate of baby chickens and insisted I photograph them. When I'd had enough, I sought refuge back on the bus only to find them peering through the windows for more. The children ran behind the bus as we drove away.
Back in New York and Indiana, I used to make my own greeting cards to sell at craft fairs and flea markets. I would have liked to continue here in Cairo, but cards are not really a big thing here since mail delivery is a luxury. People exchange birthday cards, but the selection is small and usually only found at the Stationers. Sadly, I left all my card stock and supplies behind. When I first started this, I was using a film camera and lost all my negatives due to the move to Egypt also. But I have some of the later digital photos still on my hard drive. Since they are just sitting there doing nothing - I decided to let them see the light of day by putting them on the website. My apologies to those of you who may be bored out of your minds by this, but here are some: