On her use of dialect, Fahmy said she wanted to address readers directly. “Writing is not my craft, and I did not think of hiring a ghostwriter,” she said.
“I wrote as I speak, so that the text reflects the rhythm of my life, the tone in which I communicate with people, and my language is simple, with which Arab readers will communicate, because they know the Egyptian dialect.”
The book also recounts her journey to discover the art of jewelry-making in other Arab countries, including Oman, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Bahrain, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq.
“I am the daughter of Arab nationalism, and everything I saw in the countries I visited was an addition to my experience, and enriched my artistic experience,” she said.
Fahmy describes the jewelry industry as “a profession that descended on me from heaven, in a fateful moment” which she managed to turn into art, “thanks to my keenness on development, training and continuing education.”
Her designs often include Arabic calligraphy because Mamluk architecture was a strong visual influence during her years of training at the hands of skilled craftsmen.
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Fahmy says she has “a relationship of passion” with her profession which increased her “sense of responsibility towards Egypt’s craft heritage.” In 2012, with the help of a European Union grant, she set up a jewelry design school to train young talents and help them create a heritage-focused art.
To read more about efforts to preserve traditional arts and crafts in Arab countries, see the following selection of articles from Al-Fanar Media’s Arts & Culture archives: