Motivated by a belief in the creative energy of the individual and an attempt to enliven craft, an experiment was seeded in rural Egypt to encourage artistic expression. This story began first in Old Cairo as an after school activity then moved to a rural village with a small group of young children, with less exposure yet to the outside world, utilizing high-warp looms. The high-warp loom resembles the very earliest looms, and it was chosen to allow flexibility of expression. With no preliminary design, weaving was chosen because it involves a building process done directly on the loom. Local materials used are cotton and wool, which are dyed with natural pigments including indigo, weld (reseda luteola), madder and cochineal; most of which are grown at the Art Centre.
The tapestries exhibited at the Tucson Botanical Garden are the work of artists from the Ramses Wissa Wassef Art Centre
in Harrania, an effort which was initiated 80 years ago. To learn about an alternative view of art education, please join us
for an evening presentation at the Tucson Botanical Gardens.
This TBG lecture is FREE thanks to generous support from Rory MacEwing and Osama Abdelatif.
Born in Cairo in 1978, Maged Nosshi grew up in Harrania, what was the rural outskirts of the city. Here he developed his appreciation of what is rural Egypt and an interest in the natural world. Trained as an ecosystem ecologist interested in restoring ecological function in agriculture, Maged’s research explores the coupling between ecosystem structure and function and the underlying mechanisms linking the two. His work includes a collaboration on perennial grain polyculture, a developmental agroecosystem, and his research on the sensitivity of water-limited savanna to variable rainfall.
Outside of the academic pole, Maged’s ongoing projects includes work on a date palm orchard at the confluence of the Nile valley and the Western Desert, where he established a diverse mixture of fruit trees with a cover-crop/wheat understory. His contribution at the Art Centre includes the restoration of the salt-affected family farm, and transitioning to renewable soil regeneration. Joining his wife, Marisela Chávez, in her dissertation research pursuit, along with their two children, Clara Nur and Radi Diego, they are currently living in a community in the Mixteca region of Oaxaca, interviewing milperos (farmers) around aspects governing their local foods (cultivated and wild-harvested) and agrobiodiversity.