The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

Turath: The Egyptian Heritage Co.

Turath: Original Egyptian-Made Handicrafts in Zamalek

  • 114, 26th July St. (Shop entrance on Hassan Sabry St.)
  • Home Accessories
  • 11AM-10PM -
reviewed by
Jessica Noble
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Turath: Original Egyptian-Made Handicrafts in Zamalek
Sitting modestly on Hassan Sabry Street in Zamalek – right next to Burger Factory – Turath is a unique shop with a unique aim. The word Turath, meaning ‘heritage’, reflects the shop’s dedication to protecting and sustaining Egyptian heritage through its products.

Their handmade products are sourced from Naqada, a weaving village in northern Egypt, whose economy was first damaged after the Sudanese civil war broke out and further by the decrease of tourism. Turath help improve the quality of products through education and aim to improve the working conditions of their talented suppliers whilst also priding themselves on fair trade standards.

The shop itself is small and struck us as looking and seeming organic, with canvas, cottons, wood and pottery adorning the window display. Inside, the first thing we noticed was the copious number of Egyptian cotton scarves available to buy. Available in every imaginable colour, each one was more beautiful than the other. A soft, cream-coloured scarf was priced at 45LE whilst the most expensive – large, bright & multicoloured – was priced at 140LE. Similar snoods – or infinity scarves – were priced at just 50LE.

A number of art books were on display and the shop assistant drew our attention towards one on artist Wissa Wassef who, during his life, was dedicated to teaching young villagers how to weave and make beautiful, ornate tapestries. Some  Wassef-inspired tapestries were for sale at 1100LE.

Wissa Wassef’s daughter Suzanne continues to weave, but also produces pottery under the brand ‘Stoneware Ceramics’. Turath stock a beautiful tea set handmade by her; medium sized clay teacups with a pretty blue floral pattern are 65LE each while the matching small milk jug is 85LE, as is a dainty sugar pot with a tiny bird serving as the lid handle.

They also stock a range of other handmade home accessories including coasters (15LE) and heat mats made from tightly rolled newspaper, whicker place-mats (26LE) and square or triangular wooden napkin rings (50LE/set of 6). Blue and brown round glass bowls, perfect for presenting snacks in, come fitted into a wooden tray and were priced at 100LE. Colourful cushions were also on sale from 50LE to 60LE.

Turath also boasts a range of children’s soft toys made for children, by children; all the profit goes to them. Jolly, colourful camels with dangley legs were priced at 65LE and there were also toys in the form of giant mice and girly, hanging hearts. A limited range of hand-knitted baby clothes, warm booties and hats were also on offer; a charcoal grey, short sleeved jumper with a tiny matching hat was priced at 125LE.

We also spotted some handmade jewellery on display, mainly colourful necklaces, made using stones and beads (60LE-900LE). A heavy, beige necklace made from real, smooth stones with several gold beads was 650LE.

Turath stock an interesting range of products, all handmade, unique and locally sourced from Egypt.

360 Tip

A little birdie told us about an upcoming sale. Check out the shop's Facebook page for more info.

Best Bit

Their unique vision and involvement in sustaining working villages.

Worst Bit

The scarves took over most of the shop – we would have liked to see some other woven products too.

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