Fatma is a young Nubian girl, one of many girls born in the Nubian migrant villages in Luxor, which were built after the forced migration of Nubians in the 1960s from Aswan to new villages more than 700km away. She has never lived in the land of her ancestors, but has heard a lot about her Nubian heritage during night sessions with her grandmothers, as well as through the stories and songs performed in marriage and death ceremonies in her village — the stories of generation after generation living on the shores of the Upper Nile.
In 1999, she joined a group of young girls from her village to establish the first Nubian Handicrafts House, which served as a local workshop to produce Nubian handicrafts in Luxor. She has become specialized in crafting Nubian wool rugs. To her, they are more than just rugs: they are the process of reviving the heritage of her forefathers. She enjoys working on the traditional machinery to create, with wool, symbols of old Nubian village life: colorful houses, palm trees swaying on the banks of the Nile, boats crossing the river, women baking bread in traditional Nubian ovens, and old Nubian games.
Every three days, when she finishes a new rug, she is reluctant to let it go. Although she must sell it because it is a vital source of income for her family's livelihood, she wishes she could keep it to herself, for her future children, in order to tell them the stories of the history and heritage of their ancestors.
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