The Akhmim Masters of Weaving & Embroidery

Association of Upper Egypt for Education and Development (AUEED) is a not-for-profit organization established in Egypt in 1940.

Upper Egypt is the strip of land on both sides of the Nile that extends between Aswan in the south of Egypt, downriver (northwards) to the south of Cairo and the Nile Delta.

Through the schools and development centers built and managed by the AUEED association, it spreads its developmental services to the community as a whole providing health, nutrition, vocational training, youth and women empowerment programs.


Egypt's map with AUEED schools and development centers

The association believes that educating young girls is the first step towards empowering women and raising their self-esteem, and hence, spreading out the female rights among the community members and redressing gender discrimination.

The Akhmim project is one of the development initiatives of the AUEED association. This project gives the opportunity for girls and women to perpetuate a 4000 years old local textile industry by allowing them to weave traditional products and revive Coptic and Islamic designs from the region dating back to the 3rd century AD. 

The association supports women in Akhmim, a rural town in upper Egypt, in producing handwoven textile products typical of this area with 100% Egyptian cotton, and helps them sell these products, mainly through an annual exhibit in Egypt. Most of these women are the primary bread winner in the family because they are widowed or their husbands are unable to work.  

 

Akhmim - Woman weaving on horizontal loom Akhmim - Woman weaving on horizontal loom
Akhmim - Woman weaving on horizontal loom Akhmim - Woman weaving on horizontal loom


Our goal is to help provide these artisans from Akhmim with more sustainable income by opening for them new international markets, while sharing with the world precious handmade craftwork that tells unique stories. We currently sell some of the handwoven and hand embroidered products created by the Akhmim artisans, including bedspreads, cushion covers, placemats, scarves and handbags.

Handwoven bedcovers and cushion covers Hand embroidered tapestry - tree of life
Handwoven and embroidered cushion covers

View the story of these women artisans here: