All posts in Retail + Shopping


Few arts have been associated with being lady-like as embroidery, crocheting, and cross-stitch. It was considered a sign of refinement. And while there is no decisive evidence of crocheting before its popularity in Europe during the 19th century [source: Wikipedia], embroidery and cross-stitch have been around for a very long time. Embroidery has been dated as early as the 5th century BCE, and Cross-stitch is considered the oldest form of embroidery and can be found all over the world.

In Egypt, as in the rest of the world, these crafts have been traditionally passed down through generations, unfortunately, at some point this tradition almost all but died out, the faster the pace of life become, the less patience younger generations had for learning such delicate arts. Which brings us to the bright point of this post: Coralique, a grandmother/granddaughter team that is reviving this lost art in Egypt. Read more…



By Islam El Shazly

One thing that should be indispensable is a good book to read while travelling, but how to choose the right one for you from the millions out there is the trick.

This here is an eclectic mix of books that make for an enjoyable, thought-provoking, and even humorous read; from the tales of a fictional archaeologist, to the tantalizing tales of murder and suspense, and from a challenge of the socio-political colonial pretext of orientalism to the good-natured humorous adventures of the indomitable Gauls. There is something here for everyone, even the child in all of us. Read more…


By Islam El Shazly

There is a multitude of guides, both online and in print dealing with Egypt. Some better than others, but only a few stand out in terms of the level of research and amount of useful information they involve. And with smartphones and tablets now being the latest human accessories, there are a zillion apps covering travel in Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.

Getting to the best ones is the trick. Here are the Top 8 Egypt Travel Guides—in our humble opinion—in printed form, ordered by publication date. If you are a fan of good old fashioned paper and ink, then make sure to grab one of them before your next trip to Egypt. Read more…


By Shereen Shirazy
Country Director at AID TO ARTISANS – Egypt

Aid to Artisans (ATA), an international non-profit organization, based in Connecticut, USA, is a recognized leader in economic development for the craft sector. By linking artisans to new markets and buyers to culturally meaningful and innovative products, ATA provides needed economic opportunities to artisans to build profitable craft businesses. Read more…


Please ding for assisstnce. By Will Stein

by Islam El-Shazly

Last year, Monocle’s April 2009 issue (issue 22, volume 3) was all about service and retail. They asked a very important question – actually two of them. Are you being served? If not, why not?

Monocle had conducted a global survey on the state of retail; it was about “the smartest shopkeepers, best buyers, happiest consumers and sharpest ideas on the street, in the aisles and online.

But that was not the best thing about the issue. The best, in my opinion, was on the cover itself. Read more…