clothing

Egyptian designer tailors clothing brand for people with disabilities

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CAIRO (Reuters) – When Ashgan al-Abhar’s wheelchair-using friend said she dreamed of wearing a dress that did not obstruct her mobility, she decided to launch a clothing brand for people with disabilities and those of short stature.

Earlier this year she started “Metfasal Leek” – Arabic for “Tailored for you” – a clothing line that she says is the first of its kind in Egypt.

Al-Abhar, 43, said after working with various companies on ways to cater for people with disabilities, she had noticed that they were not being served by clothing manufacturers.

“People with short stature would struggle to find their sizes in the market,” she said.

She is using volunteers to test the clothes, giving them free samples, ahead of a planned commercial launch.

One volunteer, Ziad Hamdy, struggles with a disability that prevents him from using his hands and fingers easily.

“I couldn’t button up my shirt, buckle my trousers,” he said. Hamdy now has hook-and-loop fasteners instead of buttons, which he says save him a lot of time and effort.

Al-Abhar hopes the initiative will help change views about people with disabilities and persuade the public “to stop associating them with charity”.

“It makes us feel we are like everyone else,” said volunteer Hanan Fouad.

Reporting by Mohamed Zaki; Writing by Nadeen Ebrahim; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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clothing

Egyptian Designer Tailors Clothing Brand for People With Disabilities | World News

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CAIRO (Reuters) – When Ashgan al-Abhar’s wheelchair-using friend said she dreamed of wearing a dress that did not obstruct her mobility, she decided to launch a clothing brand for people with disabilities and those of short stature.

Earlier this year she started “Metfasal Leek” – Arabic for “Tailored for you” – a clothing line that she says is the first of its kind in Egypt.

Al-Abhar, 43, said after working with various companies on ways to cater for people with disabilities, she had noticed that they were not being served by clothing manufacturers.

“People with short stature would struggle to find their sizes in the market,” she said.

She is using volunteers to test the clothes, giving them free samples, ahead of a planned commercial launch.

One volunteer, Ziad Hamdy, struggles with a disability that prevents him from using his hands and fingers easily.

“I couldn’t button up my shirt, buckle my trousers,” he said. Hamdy now has hook-and-loop fasteners instead of buttons, which he says save him a lot of time and effort.

Al-Abhar hopes the initiative will help change views about people with disabilities and persuade the public “to stop associating them with charity”.

“It makes us feel we are like everyone else,” said volunteer Hanan Fouad.

(Reporting by Mohamed Zaki; Writing by Nadeen Ebrahim; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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beauty

Egyptian Pottery – Ageless Beauty

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Ancient Egypt is a place of wild beauty and great fascination to many people today. Once, a hotbed of intrigue, commerce, and industry there is much about Egypt that remains dark and mysterious even in the modern world in which we currently live. One thing is certain however, the ancient Egyptians were artisans in their own right and one type of art in which they excelled was pottery. The pottery of ancient Egypt is often imitated today for many reasons.

Scholars have come to some sort of consensus of belief that the ancient Egyptians may have been the first to use enamel in pottery-a practice that adds great beauty and value to the pottery pieces, making them a true work of art. The amazing thing is that this is something that was introduced, we believe, nearly four thousand years ago and is still valued in today's modern society.

To illustrate just how important pottery was to the ancient Egyptians there are actually pieces of pottery that are included in the ancient hieroglyphics that depicted acts of day to day living in this ancient civilization. Pottery was included in more than a few of these glimpses into history establishing its importance and the commonality of its use.

Pottery in ancient Egypt was almost always made for use rather than made for decoration. Even the smaller pieces were meant to hold perfumes with the larger pieces of pottery holding grains, water, wine, and even meat for later use or consumption. The pottery of ancient Egypt could also be found in many sizes to accommodate the different needs the pottery filled. It was common to find various pieces ranging in sizes from inches tall to three or four feet in height. Pottery was as common to the Egyptians of old as appliances are today and it did serve to make life go much more smoothly for the people who used it.

In ancient Egypt pottery was also used for some of the most sacred rites of burial. Pottery pieces were used to hold certain organs after they were removed from the body during the embalming process to prepare the body for burial. Each of the following: heart and lungs, liver, small intestines, and the stomach were placed in four separate containers made of pottery and buried along with the body. It should be noted that the Egyptians are not the only civilization to use pottery in relation to the dead. The ancient Greeks also stored the ashes of their dead in ceramic containers.

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women

Egyptian Scarab Jewelry – Symbolism and History

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The scarab beetle has been a symbolic motif in Egyptian jewelry for thousands of years. The scarab is a symbol of regeneration and rebirth, thus scarab jewelry was thought to bring protection, luck and vitality to the wearer. Egyptian soldiers were given scarabs before going into battle. Women were given scarabs for fertility. Scarab beads and designs were commonly fashioned into bracelets, pendants and rings.

Scarab jewelry was made from a wide range of stones and materials. Archeologists have found examples of scarab beads and artifacts made from clay, soapstone, green basalt, glass, bone, precious metals, wood, semi-precious gemstones and many other types of stone. The colors of scarabs were symbolic so plain stone was often glazed or enameled in bright colors. The most common colors found in enameled scarab jewelry were green (symbolizing new life), blue (for the sky and the River Nile), and red (for the sun). In addition to enamels, brightly colored semi-precious gemstones were used in scarab jewelry making including lapis lazuli, amethyst, carnelian, agate, jasper, onyx and turquoise. Today, scarab jewelry is still made from gemstones, enameled materials, and precious metals.

The symbolism in scarab jewelry derives primarily from its association with the Egyptian god of the rising sun, Khepri. One type of scarab, the "Sacred Scarab" or dung beetle, lays its eggs in a ball of dung which it rolls along the ground and finally into a hole where the eggs hatch and new beetles emerge from. This scarab was seen as the earthly representation of Khepri in that it was believed that this god rolled the sun across the sky each day, thus renewing life. The scarab is also associated with astrology and may have preceded the crab as the symbol we know as Cancer.

Scarabs were also used in ancient Egypt for protection in the afterlife. Large "heart scarabs" with hieroglyphic inscriptions on the underside, were placed across the chest of the deceased in the tomb. They were also found in place of the heart in mummified bodies. These heart scarabs were believed to protect the dead in the final judgment. The most famous of these was a chest or "pectoral" scarab found in Thebes in the tomb of King Tutankhamen. Today, heart scarabs are valued for ornamental purposes, and many still bear hieroglyphs and symbolic carvings on the underside.

Since Egyptian history and art are still studied today, the fascination with the scarab continues. Scarab jewelry and decor are still made in Egypt and by craftsmen around the world.

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