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Africa at Noon: “Portrait of Rural Egyptian Women: Peaceful Voices from Siwa Oasis, Upper Egypt and Nubia”

April 11, 2018 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Manal Kabesh

Note: This is an event by the UW-Madison African Studies Program.

Presenter: Manal Kabesh

The rural women in the highly traditional societies of the Siwa oasis, Upper Egypt, and Nubia live according to centuries-old traditions. However, veiling and other such traditions do not push women to the sidelines in these communities; instead,rural women play an active role in their village societies and are highly respected and valued. Women’s opportunities in the Siwa community lie in producing and selling shawls, dresses, and wedding attire covered in the intricate Siwan embroidery. Nubian women’s opportunities come from selling handmade basketry and bead-work accessories, while rural women in Upper Egypt are famous for their Telly, Kilim(woolen carpets made using traditional looms) and embroidery. In this talk, educator Manal Kabesh from Cairo will describe the artistic complexity inherent in the vivid colors and designs of the handicrafts produced by these women. She will also highlight the ways these folkloric handicrafts reflect the breathtaking beauty of the natural environment in which these communities are located. In addition, Dr. Kabesh will talk about the efforts undertaken by various NGOs to not only enhance women’s vocational, technical, and entrepreneurial skills, but to also equip them with the information they need to unlock opportunities and make the most of their existing knowledge and environment. This presentation will make it clear that empowered Egyptian women have the capability to develop projects that can drive the economy and create employment opportunities for both men and women in their communities.

About the Presenter:

Dr. Manal Kabesh is an associate professor of Education at the Egyptian National Center for Educational Research and Development. Her specialties include Teaching English as a Foreign Language , and Curriculum Development and Teaching Methods. Dr. Kabesh is also a member of the Egyptian National Council for Women. She is a Vital Voices Grow fellow and alumna of “Study of the U.S. Institutes” based in Chico, California. She has worked on several projects that seek to empower rural Egyptian women by helping them to revive, develop, and sell their local, folkloric handicrafts and to preserve the Egyptian cultural heritage.


April 11, 2018
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


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1155 Observatory Dr
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