In the village of Hagaza, 17km from Qus on the periphery of the Eastern Desert, we met with Hagaza village wood arts artisans, exceptional artisans.
"For some 25 years, the center has been training the unemployed young men of the village in wood working skills in order to alleviate poverty. This center initiated after pop botrous and franco, who train young people in Hagaza to retain their ancestors wood engraving that collect the pharaonic, Coptic and Islamic arts. Fifteen young men each year enroll in the three-year training program operated by an Egyptian non-governmental agency called the Association of Upper Egypt for Education and Development." Gamal Basheir stated.
Basheer one of the artisans told us, he one of many others graduated from the program 17 years ago and has been able to provide for his family ever since.
"The problem is that some people consider the products expensive, but no one can see the hard work that goes into them. To produce a piece like a panther sculpture, for example, takes about two days. Mostly, the men carve wood from the Sersau (Dalbergia sissoo) tree, which is brought in by the Center from Aswan, and sometimes Qena. "
Basheer sees himself and his colleagues as artisans who engrave the symbols of their heritage into each piece they create. In doing so, they provide a better life for their families, and send out a message of peace to the world.