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About

Our story and a background to the exhibition.

El Arpa is an Irish-Spanish cultural initiative that has been operating for ten years. During this period, María and Enda have written several award-winning books; developed street tours in Madrid; started a podcast, where they have interviewed a number of high-profile people; and last but not least, organized events promoting Irish literature.

The "Rural Egypt" exhibition aims to show the world a glimpse of the traditional mudbrick architecture of Egyptian villages, particularly focusing on the generosity and spontaneity of the people living in them.

María spent some time documenting these disappearing houses as part of her doctoral research and has published abundantly about the topic.

The photographs in this exhibition were taken mainly in two governorates of the Egyptian Northwest Delta, Kafr el-Sheikh and Gharbiya, an area where traditional mudbrick houses are, sadly, an exception nowadays. There are also a couple of photographs from the Qena governorate, where mudbrick houses are still more extended, including the village of Naqada (southern Egypt), which gives name to one of Egypt’s earliest cultures and continues to be a famous pottery-making town.

We wish to thank again the Egyptian people for their generosity, kindness and great humour.

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