Exploring Sabteya for Hidden Treasures


Busy lifestyles often mean pared back interior design in homes, where everything has a place and a function. But where is the soul… the character, the personally selected gem that gives insight into the owner’s personality and taste? For anyone looking for that special touch, a leisurely stroll around the downtown district of Sabteya can reveal a veritable treasure trove of reclaimed doors, window frames, shutters, and ornamental features. Made at a time when craftsmanship was prized, each carved and embellished piece tells its own story and would add instant visual appeal to an uninspired space. Most items found there are made from wood, but the sharp-eyed can also hunt down quirky doorknockers and other unique statement pieces.

Widely recognized as the ‘go-to’ man for the most eclectic and charming items in the area, Hajj Fathy Othman shares the secrets of his collection with Cairo West Magazine.

Dating back over 100 years, to his grandfather’s time, this thriving family business is now presided over by Hajj Fathy himself. He knows every nook and cranny of the Sabteya area and can ferret out hidden treasures at the drop of a hat.

With an increase in demand for unique decorative pieces from days gone by, Hajj Fathy has no shortage of local clients from all walks of life throughout Egypt. His fame has grown to the point that he also exports quite a few items to meet requests from overseas buyers who appreciate the character and history behind the distinctive pieces he has gathered.

Each and every piece has its own story, often buried by age and years. By seeking out, restoring and preserving these treasures of Egypt’s heritage, he is doing his best to ensure these stories and the pieces that embrace them are not lost to future generations.

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