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How One Man In Egypt Is Keeping This 200-Year-Old Tile Tradition Alive | Still Standing | Insider Business

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updated 23 Jun 2023

This video highlights the process of handmade cement tile production in Egypt, focusing on Saied Hussain, a skilled craftsman who has been making tiles since he was 12 years old. The craft dates back to the 1800s when cement became popular for construction. Saied's workshop is one of the few remaining in Cairo. He starts by sifting white cement and mixing in pigments to achieve the desired colors. Using stencils, he pours each color into its designated section, paying attention to intricate details. Some designs are done freehand. A mixture of sand, cement, and limestone is added to secure the pattern before the tile is sent through a hydraulic press to solidify the cement. Cement tiles have a history in Europe, with factories appearing in countries like the UK, France, and Belgium. However, changing tastes and the rise of ceramic and marble tiles affected the market in Egypt, forcing Saied to adapt with cheaper designs. Despite the challenges, he continues to offer apprenticeships to preserve the traditional process. Saied's workshop produces up to 150 tiles a day, selling them for 500 Egyptian pounds (around $31) per square meter. The text emphasizes Saied's dedication to keeping the art of cement tile making alive.

How One Man In Egypt Is Keeping This 200-Year-Old Tile Tradition Alive | Still Standing | Insider Business