(Photo: Amira El-Noshokaty)
This year, for the first time, a group of young artists and owners of handicraft shop in Souq, Al- Fustat decided to hold a free of charge handicraft workshop for Ramadan street decorations and paper lanterns.
This revival of an old traditon, that was almost lost amidst the flood of imported ready-made decorations, brought back lots of memories to the parents who joined the workshop in order to share it with their children.
Back in the day, it was a neighborhood activity, children would collect money to buy a hand-made fanous and glue for decorations, as they recycle their old papers and copybook covers and use it as decorations.
Shaimaa Ismail is one of the three artists who launched this workshop with a mission to revive the tradition of making art out of recycling material. She started out by cutting old magazines and newspapers in the form of a triangle.
On the parallel table, one of her partners was making a simple paper lantern, and also re-introducing another classical paper decoration affiliated with Ramadan, as he folds the paper in four and cuts the tips of the square paper that forms a nice zigzag shape.
The decoration is then glued from their short ends to a long thick thread that are tied from both ends to the top of the chairs to make sure the thread rope is tight. After the glue dries and several thread ropes are ready, then all the hands gather once again to hang the decoration on the walls of the souq, and the classic songs of Ramadan slipped from the nearby radio.