If this article was to be written in the ancient times, it would be on papyrus — a Latin word which gave birth to “paper”.
North African farmers should be praised for preserving the papyrus water plant which is turned into sheets for writing, paintings, and rope making by artisans.
“Tourism never dies,” said Ashraf al-Sarawi, an artist who makes papyrus paintings near the famous Giza Pyramids in Egypt.
It’s been awhile, tourists visited his large shop. Plus he lost a lot of money last year due to the pandemic, but he remains hopeful. “It may get sick for a while, but it will return.”
We saw a lot of reasons why the tradition and the identity means more to them than just money.
In 2020, Egypt as a whole made $4bn in tourism which is way lesser than what was expected before the Covid-19 hit.
Prior to the pandemic, tourism was also greatly affected in North African countries during the 2011 revolution.
Tarakhan, a papyrus farmer, an artist, and an art teacher in the village of al-Qaramus in Cairo sees the positive side of things.
“We are trying to think differently so that we can carry on,
“I thank COVID-19 for locking us in our homes and forcing us to improve our business model,” he said.
About seven years ago, Tarakhan founded a local association where people are taught how to make papyrus.
HOW PAPYRUS IS MADE…IN PICTURES
Tarakhan is currently innovating the art of making papyrus into notebooks and sketchbooks.
By Elijah Christopher