Asalamu Alaykom and Jummah Mabrook,
Come with me to the rug shop up the street.
I know that our street in the picture looks more like a beach than a section of asphalt. It's yet another one of those "malish" moments. "Malish" means "no problem". Actually, if you look at the sandy street in positive light it's kind of cool to see all those tire tracks, footprints and pawprints.
This dog is mine. His name is George. I named him George because he looks like children's literature's Martha the Dog. Get it? George and Martha Washington? Ya, well, when I am waiting for the schoolbus for 20 minutes it's a way to pass the time.
Sure, George is still a wild dog. I don't bring him in off the streets; the streets are his home. When I go out, I keep my eyes open for his return. He has a slight limp, some sores show through his coat, yet he seems so happy. Can animals really be happy living on the streets? I think they can.
Let's keep going.
Jump in the microbus. If you don't have the half pound, I'll pay for you.
This is one of those times I love Egypt. No, the bus isn't loaded with a radio BUT it does have a duck puppet!
Here we are! This is the rug shop. The long building used to be all rugs but, since there are no tourists, a third of it is now devoted to tires.
The shop used to sell the kind of touristy rugs foreigners buy and bring home. Now? It mostly sells rugs that locals need to warm up their cold tile floors.
Look! It just got a new shipment from the weavers. The rug weavers are located in the countryside near Fayoum. They work out there and then pile up a truck and head for the city. There are still industrious people in Egypt and those willing to do business with them. Those hard workers didn't give up; they just changed their strategy.
It's smart how they've added floor pillows to their stock.
I grew up walking on rag rugs. There is something so homespun and beautiful about each line of color.
See what I mean? Someone crafted that rug. It is unique. No where in the world is there another rug exactly like that and it's beautiful.
It would be nice if I were able to buy a rug like that at Target, but since we don't have Targets here, I'll buy from this shop. Even if we did have one of the big chain stores, I'd rather buy from this shop. The thing that charms me about a rugs here is that is a real person who lives an hour up the road from me made it and purchasing it very directly helps two families stay afloat financially.
There are other styles and colors.
I love this wall of fringe.
I want it but I worry how much of a dust collector it is. Dust is a constant enemy in Egypt. Ahhh...Look at those colors! Gorgeous!
There are still some tourist rugs hoping to be bought.
I rather like that one. Would I hang it in my home? I don't know.
If you saw that rug in an art museum, would you believe it was valuable? I bet you would. Well, it hangs on a wall in a little shop in Giza without anyone to admire it.
Okay, this rug is a total tourist scene yet there's still artistry in it.
Just in case you weren't sure where you bought the rug, it's been spelled out for you.
"Did I buy that rug in Amsterdam? Hmmmmm....noooo."
"Milan? I don't think it was Milan...."
"Wait! Let me look at the rug! It says EGYPT. I must have bought it in Egypt!"
My mom would appreciate the simplicity of beige and cream lines.
For me, I love this patterned arrangement of colors.
I even love the blemishes. I am soooo blemished and when I see it in life I feel like I've found a kindred spirit.
I really want this row of three hanging compartments. If only I could figure of what to use it for....and then, of course, there's the dust issue again. It's beautiful, though, isn't it?
There really is so much beauty in the world. Going out in search of it means that you still have hope. You still believe in a good world. When you find it carefully crafted or artistically arranged, you are connected to someone else who cared and believed.
Let's keep on believing.