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Not Made in China: These Egyptian Art Grads Are Creating Their Own Lanterns This Ramadan

They didn't like what the job market had to offer, so they decided to make their own art.

In Egypt, like most countries, people rarely get to have a say in the matter of their own destiny. You get thrown into a rusty education system only to be forced to submit to a college education you probably don't feel the tiniest bit of interest in just because that's the only option you have. There are those, however, who are slightly more fortunate and get to go to their dream schools, only to be slapped back into reality after graduation, when you're advised to do something practical for a living and take out a mortgage, and are eventually forced into a life you have no wish to live, so you develop a substance abuse problem.

Fine Arts graduates Nour Bahaa, Nivert Aboul el Fotouh, and Hadeer Edris had a similar story, except they have yet to develop a substance abuse problem. Instead, they're following their dreams! After the artistic trio graduated in 2014 from the Helwan University Fine Arts department, they began loathing the fact that they have to compromise their artistic integrity for the sake of selling art pieces that have commercial appeal. Which is why they decided to establish a channel through which they can satisfy their artistic vision and talents, marking the birth of their own handcrafted and hand-painted fawanees business L'atelier. "We were totally disappointed by the job market; we worked with so many galleries that require us to make art for sales, not to express our artistic vision, which was very frustrating. That's why we decided to start L'atelier three years ago," explains Bahaa.

Having released two Ramadan lanterns collections so far, L'atelier comes back this year with their biggest and most artistically diverse collection ever. Inspired by old-fashioned candle-lit lanterns, their new collection is designed in the same traditional fashion but with an artistic edge. We're totally saying goodbye to generic fawanees this year and getting some with real Egyptian character. 

Here some of the lanterns released in their new collection.

Get your hands on one of these and view the whole collection on Instagram @latelierdecor.


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