An Introduction




In ‘craft’ terms, we live in exciting times, full of new material

possibilities, economic transformations, technological innovation and

cultural diversity.

Cairo, which means "the triumphant" is the capital and largest city of Egypt. 

Whilst historic Cairo is primarily inhabited by descendants of the craftspeople and merchants who have lived in the area for centuries, its urban sprawl has spawned a new spirit of cultural enterprise, creative reflection and action. With a wealth of cultural heritage sites and sounds, Cairo has long been the hub of education and contemporary artistic production not only for Egypt but also for the whole Arab world. The richness of craft and multi media, socially engaged practice, entrepeneural experiments in design, publishing and

curating are at the very vanguard of social change today.

How can such practices transform a society? How can a diversity of regimes of religious regulation manage its relationship to the State? How does tolerance for diverse faith communities support and challenge the way people think, live and behave? Can craft media be viewed as the material culture of the future, inspiring both the secular and Islamic studies ? If so, through what kinds of integrated networks, knowledge sharing, and conceptual bases?