Decorate Your Home with Great Finds for a Ramadan Theme
One of the pleasures of Ramadan is having the opportunity to share special times with family and friends, visiting one another’s homes for iftar, and making all feel welcome. So why not give some thought to home decoration, featuring authentic designs that take us back to our roots and remind us of times gone by.
If you’re searching for traditional handicrafts and that traditional Ramadan feeling, there’s no better place than the Khan el Khalili, especially if you go off the beaten track and wander the streets behind the main souk. We took a stroll and hunted down some choice items.
At the Tent Makers’ Market, Share’ el Khiamiah, just the other side of Bab El Zeweilah, you will find a myriad of fabulous hand appliqued textile designs, from cushions and quilts to wall hangings of all kinds. The artisans selling here have their work exhibited all over the world at arts fairs, and have even featured in an award winning film documentary, Tent Makers of Cairo, released last year. See their displays and you will want to have examples in your home.
Follow El Moez Street past the Egyptian Textile Museum (pausing to admire the stupendous Islamic architecture which is spectacularly floodlit after dark) and you will come to a whole street of shops selling metal work, shishas and glass at a cheaper price than you’ll find in the main souk. To the right in Amou Azz Street try Eslam Shisha for decorated shisha bottles and pipes ranging from 75 EGP to 950 EGP, and decorative glass bottles from 25 EGP to 350 EGP. Backgammon boards from 90 EGP.
All over the Khan El Khalili souk you can see examples of hand-beaten lamps in silver and brass plate. For a great selection at excellent prices and to order your own personalized design, go to Hossam Al Askary a little further up El Moez Street on the right hand side. Inside is an Aladdin’s Cave of every possible design, from tiny candle-holders to vast chandeliers.
Close to the Textile Museum you will find Gamal Ahmed Shosha, selling beautiful brass and silver-plated coffee and tea sets, with both modern and traditional designs. Silver plated coffee set on tray: 750 EGP. Brass plated Arabic coffee set on tray: 500 EGP.
In the main souk look for Babany Oriental Curiosities for exquisite inlaid marquetry work on boxes and tables; also chess and backgammon. Berti, established in 1960, has stunning inlaid furniture such as this traditional table with coloured mother of pearl. Prices for beech wood and inlaid mother-of-pearl tables range from 400 EGP to 3000 EGP, depending on the intricacy of the design.