“Ramadan ornamentation” was the theme title of a recent art workshop for children held at the 18th-century Islamic house of Beit al-Sennari, which is affiliated to the Bibliotheca Alexandrina and is used as its Cairo cultural venue.
The two-hour workshop was aimed at teaching the participants—15 girls and boys aged 6 to 10—how to use simple materials that can be found in any home to make attractive Ramadan ornaments. Cardboard paper, glue and pins were used to make origami-style crafts, streamers, and toy lanterns to decorate homes and streets during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.
Ramadan, which began Monday 6 June, is the month during which Muslims fast from dawn to sunset. Despite the fast, it is a time for festivities and intensive feasting and socialising that put it in a class all of its own where celebratory mood is concerned.
The aim of the Beit al-Sennari workshop was to preserve the lovely traditions associated with the holy month. The young participants learned how to design and create simple artistic handicrafts inspired by folkloric heritage. The teacher Saeed Owais, a graduate of the faculty of art education, has previously given several artistic workshops and has made marionette puppets.
As Ayman Mansour, manager of al-Sennari House, said: “We aim at reviving the activities that will help people learn more about their history and heritage.”
Beit al-Sennari was built in 1794 by Ibrahim Katkhuda al-Sennari, a Sudanese occultist. It was used to house many of the French artists and scholars present in Cairo at the time and became a centre for the French scholarship mission.
8 June 2016