For 51 years old Bartia Armanous earned his living from the passion that captured his mind, which he started when he was only 15. Making “kilim” (handmade carpets) was the handicraft that Armanous learned as a child; like millions of artisans, he learned the craft in order to afford his expenses. However, as years passed by, it has become not only his bread-winning source, but also the industry he loves the most.
By the Nile River of Abu Tig City in Assiut, Armanous spent his life closely following nature and applying the effects it leaves him with in beautiful mixtures of colours, shades, and drawn shapes over the kilim.
In a small workshop where he works, as many of the hidden, never-noticed talents in Egypt, he transfers the wool fabric leftovers he buys into strong, durable, and alluring carpets.
Armanous purchases the leftovers by the kilo; each kilo costing around EGP 4.
He then starts working on them for a period that differs from a day to a week, depending on the size, mixed colours, and shape of the carpet, before he gathers his work every week and travels to nearby villages and cities to offer them in local markets.
With four children in different school grades, and despite the tremendous efforts he puts into every piece produced, he offers the handmade carpets for as cheap as EGP 80.
With the belief that his charming sold products should not exceed a certain amount of money in order for them not to be too expensive for people, he spends days aiming to sell some of them.
All photos are taken by Doaa Nasr.