Artisans working with Makra, part of the social enterprise Small Artisans for Trade & Supply - SATS Egypt, create beautifully hand-blown glassware using recycled glass. These talented individuals are socially and economically underserved; they have lived among the most underprivileged regions of Upper Egypt.

The organization provides artisans with a sustainable income opportunity, an outlet to preserve handicraft arts that have been at risk of extinction, a supportive workplace, educational and training opportunities, and health programs. The majority of the artisans have previously had limited opportunities for a formal education.

Artisans are preserving a historical and cultural technique passed down across generations in Egypt. Ancient Egyptians used blown glass, but the industry and art grew during the Greek and Islamic eras, when both civilizations were in Egypt and shared the technique with local artisans. To create this glassware, the group first purchases the raw material, including used glass bottles, sorted by color from garbage segregation centers locally in the Greater Cairo area. The pieces of broken glasses are then thoroughly cleaned of any labels and washed. Next, the raw materials are placed in a hot oven to melt. Based on the product specifications, colors are added accordingly. Once the broken glass has finished melting, an artisan will blow the glass to the desired shape. The pieces are then set to cool in another oven, sanded to remove irregularities and find any cracks, and cleaned and packaged. Each piece is free of lead and cadmium based on standards by the Central Labs of the Ministry of Health in Egypt.

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